Facebook asks European antitrust watchdog to examine its WhatsApp takeover

Facebook(s fb) has asked the European Commission’s antitrust watchdog to review its $19 billion takeover of the messaging service WhatsApp, according to the Wall Street Journal and also my own sources. The move may seem counterintuitive, but it would save Facebook the hassle of seeking regulatory approval in each European member state. European carriers in particular are reportedly worried that the deal – already green-lit by U.S. regulators — would give Facebook too much leverage in the SMS-revenue-stealing mobile messaging market. Personally, I think that market is in too much flux for a dominant position to be a sure thing just now, at least in Europe, but the concern is understandable.

Kik raises $19.5M to continue waging its messaging war

New investor Foundation Capital led the round bringing with on board Twitter veteran Anamitra Banerji. Kik is evolving from a texting clone to an HTML5 app platform, which has helped drive big growth in recent months.

Facebook opens up Messenger app to non-Facebook users

Facebook will soon allow anyone to sign up for its Facebook Messenger App with just a name and a phone number instead of requiring users to have a Facebook account. The roll out begins on Android in select countries before going international and iOS soon.

OS X code suggests iMessage could come to iChat

It seemed like a no-brainer when Apple first unveiled iMessage for iOS devices: Why not build it into OS X, too? Well, turns out we may soon see iMessage work across nearly all Apple hardware, if new code discovered in Lion’s iChat is any indication.

Pinger builds a bridge between IM and SMS

Pinger, a San Jose, Calif.-based startup that initially dealt in web-based voice messaging, has launched a free service for sending texts over a web browser. The new feature, dubbed Textfree Web, could well bridge the gap between traditional SMS and the quickly growing mobile messaging market.

Messaging App Kik Pulls in $8M As It Expands To Groups

The mobile messaging space, already hot with a number of start-ups on a roll and last week’s purchase of Beluga by Facebook, got a little hotter today with news that Kik has raised $8 million from Union Square Ventures, RRE Ventures and Spark Capital.