Facebook is reportedly set to receive EU antitrust approval for acquiring omnichannel CX platform Kustomer, after it offered solutions enabling rival products to operate with U.S. customer service startups.
Acquisitions of startups by large companies have raised concerns on both sides of the Atlantic, with regulators concerned about the supposed killer acquisitions that intend to shut down potential competitors before they become big enough to pose a threat.
The world's biggest social network announced the agreement in November 2020, providing another tool to draw more sellers to its platforms.
For those unaware, Kustomer sells CRM software to businesses for communication with consumers by phone, text messages, email, Instagram, WhatsApp, and other channels. This acquisition will likely help Facebook to expand its instant messaging platform WhatsApp, which has seen tremendous usage during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Facebook has provided remedies focusing on interoperability issues enabling various products and technologies to operate together, cited sources with knowledge of the matter.
Meanwhile, the European Commission mentioned that the deal could affect competition and augment Facebook's power in online advertising, and subsequently asked for feedback from the company’s competitors and users.
EU executives took up the case after the Austrian competition agency requested a review, even though the agreement falls under the EU turnover threshold. The watchdog is using a power that is rarely used known as Article 22 giving it some discretion.
The EU competition enforcer, which is likely to settle the deal by Jan 28, did not comment on the issue.
Facebook mentioned that this deal will augment competition and add more innovation to businesses and consumers in the active and competitive domains of CRM and business messaging areas.
Last week, the German cartel office informed Facebook to obtain its permission for the deal, which has already received approvals in Britain and Australia.
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