Facebook and Instagram aren't likely to finish tying the knot by the second quarter as they'd originally intended, because the Federal Trade Commission has launched a competition probe into the deal. Investigators are already collecting information from competitors like Google and Twitter, sources tell the Financial Times. Competition probes are par for the course with acquisitions of more than $68.2 million, but the process could take six to 12 months.
That makes the second-quarter expected close date in Facebook's IPO filing look "terrifically optimistic," says one anti-trust lawyer. Another says the date indicates that "they're assuming nothing will happen, which is the face you want to put to investors. If they don't dig too deep, yeah, it's possible it could go that fast. I don't think that's likely." Not that that's likely to deter the bulls charging toward Facebook; the company's IPO is already oversubscribed, Reuters reports. (Read more Facebook stories.)