The European Union will announce its unconditional regulatory approval of Facebook’s $19 billion deal to acquire cross-platform messaging application WhatsApp, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters Thursday.
One of the sources told Reuters, “It’s unconditional clearance.”
Facebook announced that it would acquire WhatsApp in February, and the deal received Federal Trade Commission approval in April, with the condition that WhatsApp must maintain its pre-Facebook privacy practices.
In May, the social network requested that the European Commission, the EU’s central antitrust authority, review its acquisition of WhatsApp, rather than subjecting the transaction to investigations in several individual countries in the region.
EC officials sent detailed questionnaires to rival online messaging companies in July, and later that month, Facebook said in its Form 10-Q filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it extended its deadline to close the acquisition by one year, to Aug. 19, 2015.
Earlier this month, the EC sent more questionnaires to entities including telecommunications operators, other social-networking sites and Internet-service providers, with the aim of reaching a decision by Oct. 3.
Readers: Will the EC and EU OK Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp?
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