FTC clears Facebook-Instagram deal

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The Federal Trade Commission today gave Facebook approval to move forward with its pricey cash and stock purchase of photo-sharing phenom Instagram.

“The Federal Trade Commission has closed its nonpublic investigation of Facebook’s proposed acquisition of Instagram, Inc., without taking any action,” the FTC said in a bulletin. “Accordingly, the deal may now proceed as proposed.”

The social network agreed to purchase Instagram in early April for $300 million in cash with an additional 23 million shares of common stock. The FTC started its relatively routine probe a month later. The Commission was in search of any antitrust violations, and it pinged rivals Google and Twitter in the process.

Unfortunately for Instagram, the FTC’s due diligence has cost photo app makers Kevin Systrom, Mike Krieger, and co. a pretty penny — well actually it’s 25 billion pennies. The Facebook-Instagram deal, valued at $1 billion at the time of the original announcement, is now worth roughly $750 million. Facebook’s stock has fallen 50 percent since opening at $38 a share in May. The company’s shares closed at $19.44 Wednesday.

“We are pleased that the Federal Trade Commission has cleared the transaction after its careful and thorough review,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement to VentureBeat.

The deal is still pending final close.

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