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US authorities close Facebook-Instagram deal probe

The US Federal Trade Commission said yesterday that it has closed its investigation into Facebook's acquisition of Instagram.

The commission has decided not to take any action, meaning the deal can now proceed as proposed, the FTC said in a statement. Officials were considering whether the $1 billion (£630 million) deal was anti-competitive.

"This action is not to be construed as a determination that a violation may not have occurred, just as the pendency of an investigation should not be construed as a determination that a violation has occurred," Abigail J. Tabor, acting FTC secretary, wrote to Facebook and Instagram "The Commission reserves the right to take such further action as the public interest may require."

The Commission voted 5-0 to close the inquiry.

Reports of an investigation first cropped up in May, but the FTC does not generally talk publically about its cases.

In early April, Facebook announced plans to acquire Instagram for a reported $1 billion. Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg said at the time that Facebook has focused for years on "building the best experience for sharing photos with your friends and family." The Instagram acquisition will "offer the best experiences for sharing beautiful mobile photos with people based on your interests," he said.

On our shores, Office of Fair Trading (OFT) recently cleared the Facebook-Instagram deal.

In recent days, Instagram rolled out an update for iOS that included an interactive "photo map" feature that lets users plot where their images were taken.