mashable The Wall Street Journal reports that Facebook has asked the European Commission to review its acquisition of WhatsApp in an effort to pre-empt possible battles in any number of countries in the European Union. CNBC and others have since confirmed the report, citing anonymous sources.
SEE ALSO: Facebook Cuts Down on Automatic Updates in Your Friends' News Feeds
Facebook did not immediately respond to our request for comment.
The social networking company first announced in February that it had agreed to acquire WhatsApp for $16 billion, plus another $3 billion in restricted stock units for employee retention. The deal, Facebook's largest by far, received FTC approval in the U.S. in April.
Facebook was not expected to go before the European Union's regulatory commission, but doing so may prove to be less of a headache for the company than going country by country.
"There will be logistical issues for Facebook in dealing with different member states," Duncan Liddell, a partner in competition and European Union law at London's Ashurst law firm, told CNBC. "Facebook might also think that it would get a more consistent approach if there is just one review of the transaction."