EU probing WhatsApp, Facebook deal

By Dow Jones newswires

Competitors have until September 8 to reply to the questionnaire, which runs to nearly 70 pages and contains in-depth questions on the ease of switching between networks, how easy it is to create new competitors, and how the new social media industry and its apps compete with traditional telecoms services. "Do you consider traditional electronic communications services, such as voice calls, SMS, MMS, emails, etc. , to be substitutable with the consumer communications services functionalities offered by your app(s)? " one question asks, looking into the way in which many people now use Apple's iMessage, WhatsApp, Twitter direct messages or other services as alternatives to Short Message Service — the formal name for texting.

It asks questions about what a merged entity could do with customers' data, and how that could affect advertising services, in particular the effectiveness of adverts over both mobile devices such as smartphones and on computers. "In your view, what would be the likely impact on WhatsApp and its user base if post-transaction WhatsApp… were to start collecting increased amount of data about its users (e. g. user location, age, gender, message content, etc. )? " the questionnaire asks.

Read more here: Business Spectator


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