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Facebook pokes the EU to help push through its WhatsApp purchase

Matt Brian, @m4tt

Facebook's $19 billion acquisition of WhatsApp is a done deal in the US, but in Europe, it still has a few more hoops to jump through. In a bid to move things along, the Wall Street Journal reports that the social networking giant is taking the unusual step of actively seeking an investigation into the deal by the European Commission. As it stands, the company will be probed by regulators across Europe, but if the Commission gets involved, Facebook would no longer need to gain approval from each European member state. That could possibly push the deal through a little bit faster. Facebook's decision to go direct likely stems from opposition it currently faces from European carriers, which are worried that the social network would dominate the text and photo messaging market (read: kill SMS revenues). For the Commission to get involved, Facebook needs proof that it's already under review in at least three EU countries. It isn't clear if that's the case, but if it is, a Facebook-owned WhatsApp would likely become a reality a lot sooner than is currently expected.

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