NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Facebook (FB) stock fell Thursday as European Union antitrust officials have asked rival companies about the social media giant's proposed $19 billion acquisition of messaging service WhatsApp.
European Commission officials have sent detailed questionnaires to Facebook's rivals in the past few weeks to learn of the acquisition's effects on competition within their markets, according to The Wall Street Journal. This could be a precursor to a formal review that would serve as a test case for how to apply EU competition law to social media, the Journal reports.
The questionnaires also touch on how companies control and use personal data when they offer services, which is a newer area in merger reviews.
The news comes as Facebook continues to navigate regulatory roadblocks in order to complete the WhatsApp deal.
The stock was down 2.08% to $53.62 at 10:09 a.m.
Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates FACEBOOK INC as a "hold" with a ratings score of C. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate FACEBOOK INC (FB) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed - some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and impressive record of earnings per share growth. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the stock itself is trading at a premium valuation."