Facebook gains EU clearance.


BRUSSELS: Facebook, the world's most popular social network, gained European Union clearance for its proposed $19-billion takeover of mobile messaging startup WhatsApp in a deal setting it against the telecoms industry.

The landmark deal is the largest in Facebook's 10-year history and will give it a strong foothold in the fast-growing mobile messaging market.

WhatsApp is poised to become a potentially powerful rival to companies such as Deutsche Telekom, Orange and Telecom Italia with its plan to add free voice-call services for its 450 million customers later this year.

The European Commission said the deal would not hurt competition. "We have carefully reviewed this proposed acquisition and have come to the conclusion that it would not...

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