FTC issues approval for Facebook-Instagram deal to move forward

The Federal Trade Commission announced today that it has closed its investigation of the Facebook-Instagram acquisition without taking any action, which will allow the deal to move forward.

The commission was unanimous in its decision to end investigation into whether the deal violated antitrust laws. The FTC regularly looks into acquisitions over $66 million. When Facebook announced that it planned to buy the mobile photo sharing app in April, the deal was worth $1 billion in cash and stock. However, with Facebook’s share price suffering since its initial public offering, that value has dropped. Instagram agreed to $300 million in cash and 22,999,412 shares of Facebook common stock, which would be about $747 million at today’s share price.

The acquisition could close relatively soon, allowing the companies to begin integrating. Contrary to popular belief, employees of Facebook and Instagram have been working separately for the past four months. Instagram, for example, launched a blog for businesses and added a new photo map feature last week. Facebook released its own mobile photo-sharing app called Camera, which allows users to add filters to their photos and share them quickly with friends.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in April that Instagram will continue under the Instagram name and continue to support posting services beyond Facebook. Users can continue to have followers and follow people without connecting with them directly on Facebook.