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Facebook's Instagram acquisition: the billion-dollar story

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In a surprise move, Facebook announced it had agreed to acquire photo sharing app Instagram for $1 billion. The company acquired all 13 of Instagram's employees, and came right after Instagram launched a hugely popular Android app, and raised a new round of funding. Though Mark Zuckerberg promised Instagram will continue to be developed as a separate application, the announcement set off something of a backlash.

14 updates and 483 comments below.

Dec 16 7:47p

Instagram agreed to sell to Twitter for $525 million before choosing Facebook, says NYT

The New York Times is reporting that Twitter had a deal in place to buy Instagram for $525 million back in March — before the photo-sharing service's CEO Kevin Systrom called the whole thing off. We've heard about Twitter's interest in Instagram before, but the revelation is particularly noteworthy given the recent spat between the two companies, not to mention Systrom's claims to California regulators that Facebook's successful $1 billion bid was the only one received.

According to the T...

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Dec 12 2:20p

Facebook confirms it will 'monetize' Instagram

Since Facebook acquired Instagram earlier this year, people have wondered how the service might be changing. We're still not sure, but Facebook VP of Global Marketing Solutions Carolyn Everson has confirmed that monetization is coming in some form. Talking with Business Insider, Everson avoided the question of whether ads would start appearing on the photo sharing service, but she said that "eventually we'll figure out a way to monetize Instagram." Shortly after, she reiterated that the...

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Oct 24 11:11p

Facebook's 'billion dollar' Instagram acquisition to actually cost $715 million

After all the dust has settled, Facebook’s much-hyped "billion dollar" acquisition of photo sharing service Instagram is actually costing the company considerably less — $715 million, to be more precise. As reported by The Next Web, the value of the deal has fallen significantly thanks to Facebook's falling share price. The results were made public in the company's quarterly report; its second since its May IPO.

So far, Facebook has paid $521 million in cash and stock

So far, Facebook has...

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Sep 06 11:26a

Facebook's Instagram purchase finally complete, over 5 billion photos shared to date

It's been a long time coming, but Facebook's purchase of Instagram is finally a done deal — both companies just announced the finalized partnership on their respective blogs. Additionally, Instagram revealed that users have now shared over five billion photos. This finalized purchase comes a few weeks after the FTC closed its investigation into the deal, and less than a week since the state of California finished a "fairness hearing" on the proposed deal.

Due to the fact that Facebook's stock...

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Aug 29 3:59p

Facebook's stock transfer to Instagram cleared by the state of California

Despite the fact that the FCC approved Facebook's purchase of Instagram last week, the state of California had one more final hearing on the matter — a "fairness hearing" meant to approve the transfer of Facebook stock as part of the whole deal. The hearing took place today, and the Wall Street Journal reports that California's Department of Corporations found that the deal was "fair, just, and equitable," paving the way for the sale to finally be complete. Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom...

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Aug 22 5:54p

FTC closes Facebook / Instagram investigation, deal may 'proceed as proposed'

Facebook's proposed purchase of Instagram has been cleared by the FTC, paving the way for the deal to close nearly five months after the initial announcement. This news comes a little over a week after the UK's Office of Fair Trading gave similar approval to the deal. The FTC passed the deal unanimously in a five-to-zero vote, saying that "the deal may now proceed as proposed." As Facebook has gone public since the purchase was first announced, the value of the deal is actually a good bit...

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Aug 14 8:37a

Facebook's purchase of Instagram cleared by UK watchdog

The UK's Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has halted its probe into Facebook's $1 billion purchase of Instagram. OFT began to look into the purchase last month over fears that it would give Facebook an unfair advantage in the photo-sharing market. If it had found sufficient evidence it would have referred the case the UK's competition commission which could have potentially taken steps to block the takeover.

In an emailed statement, OFT says that it "has decided, on the information currently...

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May 10 4:30p

FTC investigating Facebook / Instagram deal, says Financial Times

The Facebook buyout of Instagram may not happen as soon as planned. According to the Financial Times, "two people familiar with the matter" say the US Federal Trade Commission has launched an investigation of the deal and is currently collecting information from Facebook's competitors. That doesn't necessarily mean it's going to find any problems, and it's not unusual for the FTC to investigate deals greater than $68.2 million under current antitrust laws; the deal is still expected to be...

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Apr 23 3:31p

Facebook reports Q1 earnings: over 900m active users, Instagram cost $300m plus 23 million shares

Ahead of its IPO later this year, Facebook just released an updated Form S-1 with first quarter earnings that's now available for perusal in the SEC's filing system. Revenue is up considerably year over year — $1.06 billion versus $731 million a year ago — but net income is down a tad from $233 million to $205 million. The lower profit is attributed to just about everything in Facebook's financial sheet: operating and administrative costs, marketing, and R&D. Monthly active users of the...

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Apr 18 6:01a

Mark Zuckerberg kept Facebook board out of Instagram negotiations, claims WSJ

How do billion-dollar deals get made in Silicon Valley? In the case of Facebook's acquisition of Instagram, the negotiation period was a mere weekend at Mark Zuckerberg's house, where he and Kevin Systrom, Instagram's cofounder and CEO, thrashed out a mutually agreeable valuation for the photo-sharing service. This is according to a Wall Street Journal report, which goes on to say that Zuckerberg informed Facebook's board of directors that he intended to spend $1 billion on Instagram on...

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Apr 14 3:34p

Twitter wanted to buy Instagram before Facebook's purchase, says NYT

Early last week, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg announced that his company had acquired photo-sharing service Instagram for $1 billion. Later reports have suggested that the deal was sudden, taking a mere two days to complete. Now, a New York Times report has corroborated that with a history of Instagram, from its start as prototype "Burbn" to its acquisition. Founder Kevin Systrom had told associates that he was not interested in selling, says the Times, mere months before Zuckerberg's call, and...

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Apr 12 6:58p

Facebook-Instagram deal took Zuckerberg two days to complete

It's only been a few days since Facebook shelled out $1 billion in cash and stock to purchase Instagram, but now we've got some information on how the deal came together. According to The New York Times' anonymous "people with knowledge of the matter," CEO Mark Zuckerberg was at the forefront of the entire acquisition, unlike previous (and smaller) transactions. Apparently it all came together over a matter of two days — Zuckerberg called Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom last Friday and said he...

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Apr 11 11:47a

Product teams and company towns: how Facebook and Instagram cash in on the labor of the people

Instagram's buyout has prompted the usual internet backlash that occurs whenever Facebook touches something, but do we really know what's happening or why? That's the question that Paul Ford and Matt Webb attempt to answer, in their separate but equally thought-provoking deconstructions of the acquisition and what it means for the web and for users. Ford says that Facebook is really just a big collection of products like chat, walls, feeds, and so forth, and that Instagram is just one more...

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2:33a

Instagram top of iOS App Store for the first time after Facebook acquisition

You'd think Instagram, with its massive popularity and perfect price tag, would've been top of the Apple charts at least once by now, but according to the company, it's only done it for the first time tonight. Reaching the pinnacle of the iOS free apps list, Instagram seems to have found new momentum in the wake of its billion-dollar acquisition by Facebook.

There was a quite unpleasant backlash among Instagram's iOS users when the Android version of the app was released — with some claiming...

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Apr 09 1:06p

Facebook to buy Instagram for $1 billion

Mark Zuckerberg took to Facebook today to announce that Facebook has agreed to acquire photo-sharing service Instagram for $1 billion in "a combination of cash and shares of Facebook." The entire Instagram team — 6 13 employees — will be joining Facebook, and interestingly, Zuckerberg says that Instagram will be built and grown "independently" and that its integration with other services is an "important part of the experience." Over at the Instagram blog, CEO Kevin Systrom also announced...

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