European Union Questions Facebook Rivals Over the Social Network’s Acquisition of WhatsApp Messenger

There’s a new chapter in a book that seemingly won’t close as European Union antitrust officials have started questioning rival firms about Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp and what the acquisition’s impact might be on competition in the region. To that end, the officials sent out a questionnaire to these rivals.

In light of some privacy issues with the merger as well as continuing fears over NSA overreach, it’s also not surprising that the questionnaires also ask these rivals how personal information is controlled and used in these services.

the questionnaires also ask these rivals how personal information is controlled and used in these services

The commission’s questioning of rivals comes before the EU opens a formal merger review that will “provide one of the first in-depth looks at the app economy and social media through the lens of competition law,” according to the WSJ. This deal in that way differs from the $8.5 billion acquisition of Skype by Microsoft in 2011.

The U.S.’s FTC approved the merger back in April despite efforts by privacy advocates to block it, but the U.S. is filled to the brim with competition as are the markets of Asia, where LINE, KakaoTalk, and WeChat dominate.