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Facebook-Instagram Deal Reportedly Probed By FTC

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The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) may have opened a probe into Facebook's purchase of photo-sharing app Instagram.

The social network in April announced plans to acquire the app for $1 billion in cash and stock. According to Facebook's pre-IPO S-1 documents filed with the Security and Exchange Commission, the company expects the deal to close in the second financial quarter of 2012.

But a new report posits that the deal may be delayed.

According to the Financial Times (paywalled), two sources said that the FTC has begun an antitrust investigation into the deal.

"The competition probe - routine for any deal more than $66m - is likely to take six to 12 months, according to several experts," writes the FT.

Facebook has said it will pay Instagram $200 million if the deal falls through.

FTC Spokesman Mitch Katz told The Huffington Post, “The FTC doesn’t have anything to say about this. We haven't even said that we’re the agency responsible,” pointing out that the Department of Justice also has oversight over these matters. “The pre-merger review process is entirely non-public. Unless an early termination is granted.”

A Facebook rep declined to comment.

The social network is expected to start trading publicly on the Nasdaq on May 18. The company has set a price range of $28 to $35 per share and could raise as much as $13.58 billion in its IPO, according to Reuters.

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