After Facebook announced its $1 billion purchase of Instagram earlier this year, the UK’s Office of Fair Trade (OFT) announced it was launching an investigation of the deal. Today, the OFT issued a brief statement that it will not pursue the case further with the Competition Commission, effectively giving the deal its stamp of approval. The concern was that the deal would result in Facebook limiting access from alternative sharing sources, thereby reducing consumers choice in photo app products. The OFT concluded in a statement to The Next Web that “while they may have the ability to do so, the evidence we received doesn’t suggest that the parties would pursue such a strategy.”
With UK approval, Facebook now turns its sights to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which has previously issued what’s known as a “second request.” A second request lengthens the process by which Facebook must gain regulatory approval, pushing the final closing of the deal to sometime later this year.