ACCC will not oppose Meta's proposed acquisition of Kustomer

18 November 2021

The ACCC will not oppose the proposed acquisition of Kustomer by Meta, formerly known as Facebook Inc.

Kustomer is a small customer relationship management (CRM) software-as-a-service provider based in the USA that focuses on business interactions with customers. Some of its services include collating customer interactions that occur through channels used by a business, such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Twitter, email, SMS and/or webchat.

Meta is a technology company that generates most of its revenue from advertising and related services on its digital platforms, Facebook and Instagram. Meta also offers three messaging services, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram, which businesses can use to communicate with consumers. Meta also sells ads that direct consumers to these services (for example, click-to-message ads).

During its investigation into the proposed transaction, the ACCC heard from some market participants that access to Meta’s messaging services is an important input for some CRM providers, particularly those that service medium-sized businesses.

“We were initially concerned about the prospect of Meta restricting access to its messaging services for competing CRM providers, however we concluded that Meta is unlikely to have an incentive to do this,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims said.

“We consider that Meta’s interest is in promoting use of its messaging services so that it can grow its advertising business. Restricting access for competing CRM providers is inconsistent with that.”

“We found that Meta is likely to continue to promote its services through other CRM providers as well as Kustomer.”

The ACCC further notes that Kustomer has a minimal presence in Australia and that Meta and Kustomer’s services have only a very minor overlap.

“Based on the information gathered during our investigation, we consider this proposed acquisition is unlikely to have a significant impact in Australia, and is not likely to result in a substantially lessening of competition in any market in Australia.”

The ACCC notes that the proposed acquisition is subject to reviews by regulators in other jurisdictions, including the USA, EU and the UK.

Further information is available at Meta Platforms, Inc - Kustomer, Inc.

Background

Kustomer, Inc. is a relatively small CRM software-as-a-service provider, which focusses on CRM tools designed to assist businesses with their customer service requirements. Kustomer is based in the USA and has its headquarters in New York.

Meta Platforms, Inc., formerly Facebook, Inc., is a large, publicly traded company that generates most of its revenue through advertising and related services. Meta is based in the USA and offers three messaging services namely Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram, that enable businesses to communicate with consumers.

Businesses often use CRM software such as Kustomer to manage their communications with consumers through various channels, including Meta’s messaging services.

Release number: 
181/21
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Media enquiries: 
Media Team - 1300 138 917, media@accc.gov.au

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