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Facebook gets go ahead to acquire Instagram

Since Facebook announced a then-billion dollar agreement to buy Instagram four months ago, the joining of the social media heavyweights had been held up by a Federal Trade Commission investigation in the US.

The Commission recently voted a 5-0 decision in favour of closing the investigation, allowing the acquisition to finally go ahead.

FTC gives the green light to Facetagram 

When the deal was announced, concern was raised as Facebook's latest purchase could have led to a virtual monopoly over mobile photo sharing.

As of July, Facebook has over 500million active mobile users, while Instagram has built up a following in excess of 80million users.

There was also some worry that a Facebook-Instagram partnership might grant the California-based company an unfair dominance over online advertising.

However, the FTC found that Google presents enough ad competition, and a number of mobile apps, such as Camera+, Hipstamatic and Camera Awesome hold triple the market share of Facebook's own Camera app – enough healthy competition despite the advantageous acquisition.

What does it mean?

It’s hard to say how much of an impact the acquisition will make to either platform.

There’s been a lot of talk about Facebook’s inability to adequately monetise their mobile products, and Instagram's current business model doesn’t offer much of a solution.

Similar to Twitter in its early days, Instagram has been content to build market share based on the quality of service, with little concern for generating ad revenue.

With Facebook taking the reins, there is the opportunity for innovative back-and-forth integration between the services, but it remains to be seen if they will attempt to squeeze revenue out of the service.

Perhaps Facebook is simply happy to gobble up, and learn from, a promising mobile competitor.

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