The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is investigating Facebook acquisitions as part of a competition investigation. Meanwhile, the social medium has decided to make it clearer that it owns Instagram and WhatsApp, by adding its name.

The FTC wants to know whether the takeovers of Facebook were part of a campaign to cut off potential rivals, say insiders in front of The Wall Street Journal. The social medium itself announced in July that the FTC had started a competition investigation, but gave no further details.

The FTC has since sought contact with a number of founders of companies that have been taken over by Facebook. The social media giant has bought no less than ninety companies in the past fifteen years. The best known are Instagram and WhatsApp, which made Facebook a dominant power in the field of social media.

If the FTC detects competition problems in past acquisitions, the watchdog can take several steps. For example, it can force the companies to be split up, or limit Facebook’s interactions with the acquired company.

Clarifying ownership

Shortly after The Wall Street Journal reported on the FTC’s investigation, the social media announced that it is going to clarify its ownership of Instagram and WhatsApp. It does this by adding From Facebook to the names of the apps, writes The Wall Street Journal after news from The Information.

The new names – Instagram from Facebook and WhatsApp from Facebook – should be visible in the app stores of Apple and Android. The new names may also become visible when the apps are started. On the home screen, the names remain the same.

We want to be clearer about the products and services that are part of Facebook, says spokesman Bertie Thomson. Workplace, Portal and Oculus have already used the name of their parent company in their marketing.

Merge apps

The name change is the latest step in CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s plans to merge the apps.

Not only does the FTC seem critical about the acquisitions and merging of the three apps, but also employees of Facebook itself would have concerns. Former employees argue that employees are confused what the reasons of Zuckerberg are, however, this strategy

An insider also states that when Zuckerberg discussed the name change last year with the company’s top people, a number of them were critical about it. Some of those present said that Instagram and WhatsApp are doing well and that they could be harmed if they are linked to a controversial brand.

This news article was automatically translated from Dutch to give Techzine.eu a head start. All news articles after September 1, 2019 are written in native English and NOT translated. All our background stories are written in native English as well. For more information read our launch article.