Facebook gets official OK to issue stock in Instagram deal


(CNET) Facebook has been officially cleared to start issuing stock for the Instagram acquisition.

A fairness hearing, the last hurdle for Facebook before it could move forward with its Instagram deal, concluded today with the expected approval, a Facebook spokesperson has confirmed.

No other details were released.

The Federal Trade Commission issued a statement last week that it had concluded its investigation. Today's fairness hearing allows Facebook to bypass federal registration, which can cost companies hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The Instagram acquisition was once valued at $1 billion in cash and stock. With Facebook's stock price at $19 a share, half of what it was when the social network went public in May, the deal is now worth about $747.1 million.

There's been no word from Instagram about the hearing, but apparently the photo-sharing site's CEO, Kevin Systrom, testified as a witness.

At the hearing, Systrom said the "whirlwind negotiations" began Easter weekend and while Instagram was approached by other companies, it never received any other formal offers, according to tweets from Los Angeles Times reporter Jessica Guynn.

"In hearing, @kevin makes clear that there were no actual offers/term sheets on the table from Apple or Twitter when Facebook made its offer," one tweet reads.

Instagram launched for the iPhone in 2010. The app lets users upload or take photos and apply filters to get a similar look and feel of lo-fi photography. After photos are processed users can immediate be broadcast to other Instagram users, Twitter or Facebook via the app. The popular app reported it had 80 million users in July.

This article originally appeared on CNET.