Turkey Starts Antitrust Investigation Into WhatsApp, Facebook

Turkey’s antitrust board launched an investigation into Facebook Inc. and its messaging service WhatsApp Inc. over new usage terms that have sparked privacy concerns.

Changes to WhatsApp’s terms of service, effective Feb. 8, will allow the messaging app to share data with Facebook. Users will be required to agree to the new terms, which would allow for more targeted advertisements, or lose access to their WhatsApp accounts.

The regulator also said it was halting implementation of such terms, it said on Monday. The new terms would result in “more data being collected, processed and used by Facebook,” according to the statement.

Why WhatsApp’s Privacy Rules Sparked Moves to Rivals: QuickTake

Turkey has a history of acting against social-media platforms in ways that activists say is meant to stifle dissent.

User concerns over possible violations of privacy have triggered a flight from WhatsApp to alternative applications. BiP, a rival application by Turkcell Iletisim Hizmetleri AS, got about 4.6 million new users in three days, the company said on Monday. The company rose as much as 3% in Istanbul trading.

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