The European Union antitrust officials have already started to look into Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp, as per the company’s request. Questionnaires have been sent out to rivals of the two companies to assess their opinion on the matter.
The Wall Street Journal has seen the document and it looks like the EU Commission is looking into understanding what separates a social network from a messaging application so they can better make their decision regarding the $19 billion (€14.46 billion) acquisition.
Competitors have one week to reply to the questionnaire that has nearly 70 pages and contains in-depth questions on the ease of switching between networks, how the new social media industry and its apps compete with traditional telecoms services and more.
The EU officials are also looking to find out what the competitors of the two companies think about the distinction between services that have the primary purpose of enabling users to get in touch with friends and family and services that enable users to get in contact with new people.
An answer to Facebook’s request of review will be given by October 3, the European Union antitrust committee said, although it could also be delivered earlier if a conclusion is reached faster.
The deal can be cleared with no conditions, but there’s also the possibility that EU officials will demand some concessions. US regulators have asked WhatsApp to keep its privacy practices even after the acquisition.