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Facebook Messenger Merger May Face Opposition From The US FTC

Earlier in May, Facebook officially announced that it has planned to enable cross-messaging across all the apps it owns. Included in the list is Facebook Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp. Sources to The Wall Street Journal said that the US Federal Trade Commisison (FTC) may file an injuction against the company. The move is meant to keep it from pursiung interoperability between its messaging apps.

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The New York Times first broke the news of the cross-messganing pursuit in January. The idea is that all three apps will share the end-to-end encryption used by WhatsApp. You’ll also be able to use Facebook Messenger to send a text to someone using Instagram Direct, for example.

Facebook new company branding

A key reason that the FTC is agaisnt the move is because the integration would make it more difficult to split the company apart. The commission says this is so that, if it finds Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp and Instagram as anticompetitive, it would be less of a headache to break the companies up. The agrument for the consumer fromt is that cross-messaging will make texting more convenient. But it may also endup being confusing if you want to know which platform each message comes from.

At any rate, the Journal states that if the FTC makes the move to file an injunction, it could happen as early as next month. It does feel a little late, since Facebook has already begun branding Instagram and WhatsApp with the “by Facebook” label.

(Source: Wall Street Journal via TNW, BGR)

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