At an event in Brussels, former British deputy prime minister Nick Clegg, who joined Facebook as head of global policy and communications late last year, answered questions about the New York Times' article and said that Facebook is still a long way off of merging the three instant-messaging platforms.

"It is so early days," Clegg said. "We haven't worked out how that will work, whether it's workable, what regulators may or may not think about it before they jump to any conclusions, what you would need to do, how you make that work in the data infrastructure, how much data integration you need between them. I'm afraid I can't give you much more color."

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