FTC probe may delay close of Facebook-Instagram deal

The Financial Times reports that it might take longer for Facebook to win approval to buy Instagram than Facebook has said.

The government's probe into Facebook's $1 billion purchase of photo-sharing app Instagram threatens to delay the close of the deal, according to a report in the Financial Times. That could prove distracting while the social-network company is deep into its IPO roadshow.

Citing two people familiar with the matter, the FT says the FTC has begun collecting information from two of Facebook's largest competitors -- presumably Twitter and Google, although the newspaper doesn't say.

Such a probe is routine for any deal of this size, but the FT says this investigation could take six to 12 months. Facebook's S-1 IPO documents say that the company expects to the to close this quarter. It's unclear what such a delay would mean -- both for Facebook's still nascent mobile strategy and potentially for the IPO itself.

A Facebook spokesman declined to comment.

About the author

Paul Sloan is editor in chief of CNET News. Before joining CNET, he had been a San Francisco-based correspondent for Fortune magazine, an editor at large for Business 2.0 magazine, and a senior producer for CNN. When his fingers aren't on a keyboard, they're usually on a guitar. Email him here.

 

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