According to three sources familiar with the matter at hand, Facebook’s acquisition of Kustomer, a U.S. customer service startup, is to face a full-scale EU antitrust investigation in August.
In November 2020, Facebook announced the deal to acquire the startup to scale up its instant messaging app – WhatsApp.
The European Commission is set to conclude its preliminary review of the deal on August 2 after which it will begin an in-depth 90-day investigation, said the sources.
Facebook has until July 26 to offer concessions to regulators to stave off the investigation but is unlikely to do so given difficulties of finding the right remedies to address competition concerns, said sources on the condition of anonymity.
The Commission declined to comment.
In June, Facebook said the deal will bring more innovation to businesses and consumers.
Through the means of Article 22, the European Commission took over the case following a request from Austria.
Incidentally, the deal falls below the EU turnover threshold.
On Friday, Germany’s antitrust agency said it was looking to see if Facebook should also seek its approval; it will also look into how the deal would impact German consumers and to what extent Kustomer is active in the country.