Facebook’s Acquisition Of Instagram Will Likely Not Be Final By Its IPO Date

By Julie D. Andrews 

Charging onward to the most gargantuan tech initial public offering of all-time, questions have surfaced as to whether the Federal Trade Commission’s investigation of the merger-and-acquisition deal between Facebook and Instagram could delay the IPO, which is slated for May 18.

It is routine business for the FTC to investigate deals having a value higher than $68.2 million, TechCrunch reported, and the $1 billion price tag on the social network’s purchase of the photo-sharing application definitely qualifies it for a look.

Sources told Financial Times the deal will probably be approved, but its closing date will likely be post-IPO, possibly as late as the end of June (when the second quarter concludes), if plans remain as they are. This was always Facebook’s expected timeline for the deal, though, Mashable reported.

This forces investors to bank on the social network knowing that it is currently not monetizing mobile, despite the reality that most Facebook users now access the social network through smartphones, rather than via PCs.

Facebook’s purchase of Instagram, its developer whiz kids, and its technology could help it make its mobile content more marketing-friendly (the users are already there in droves).

The FTC’s M&A investigation could span 30 days, and the merger cannot progress before the conclusion of the investigation, the agency told Mashable. If no decision is reached after the month-long investigation, the FTC can put forth a second request.

This does not indicate anything scurrilous, the FTC told Mashable, but rather indicates the need for more information (potentially about how the companies operate, what services they provide, if the companies compete, and how the merger could affect competition).

The deal is the deal, and the IPO is the IPO. The power to postpone the IPO is in the hands of Facebook alone, and the FTC plays no role in making that decision, as was aptly pointed out by Mashable.

Readers: Do you think the FTC’s investigation of Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram should impact its plans to move forward with its IPO next Friday?