You may be familiar with Facebook’s one billion dollar acquisition of Instagram. There was much speculation about the valuation of the purchase. Just a few weeks ago Facebook spent 19 times that in purchasing the popular instant messenger WhatsApp.
Now consumer groups are urging the investigation of the purchase and have filed complaints with the FTC.
Although WhatsApp is happy about the acquisition, it seems that a pair of consumer groups, the Electronic Privacy and Information Center (EPIC) and Center for Digital Democracy (CDD) are not, as they have filed separate complaints with the FTC.
The complaints are asking that the FTC look into the acquisition, but the focus of their concerns has to do with the privacy of information.
When users register for WhatsApp they are required to agree to their terms of service, but the concern is that Facebook will not acknowledge the terms and that the users rights when it comes to online advertising risk being violated.
These large consumer groups are seeking the assistance of the FTC because the violation would constitute deceptive and unfair trade practices.
Facebook has put out a statement reassuring its users that WhatsApp will continue running as a separate company, so whether the FTC will decide to look into the issue remains to be seen.