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Facebook says WhatsApp deal cleared by FTC

11
Apr
2014

By Alexei Oreskovic SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Facebook Inc said U.S. regulators have cleared its $19 billion acquisition of mobile messaging service WhatsApp, even as the Federal Trade Commission warned the two Internet companies on Thursday that they must not backtrack on commitments to user privacy. The FTCs Bureau of Consumer Protection, in a letter to the two companies on Thursday, said WhatsApp must adhere to its current privacy practices after the merger, including a promise not to use WhatsApp users personal data for targeted ads. If the acquisition is completed and WhatsApp fails to honor these promises, both companies could be in violation of Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act and, potentially, the FTCs order against Facebook, the letter from Jessica Rich, director of the consumer bureau, read. FTC spokesman Jay Mayfield said the agency does not comment on investigations.

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