The US Federal Trade Commission has it She filed a lawsuit against Facebook Claiming that the social media giant “engaged in a systematic strategy” to maintain its monopoly by eliminating competitors. The Federal Trade Commission cited the Facebook acquisition of Instagram in 2012, the acquisition of WhatsApp in 2014, and the “imposition of anti-competitive conditions on software developers” as evidence for its claim, which follows an investigation conducted in conjunction with state prosecutors in 46 states, as well as District of Columbia and Guam.
The lawsuit alleges that when Instagram first appeared on the scene “at a critical time in a personal social networking competition,” Facebook initially tried to compete with it on the basis of merit. However, it ultimately decided it would be easier to buy it right away, which it did in April 2012 for $ 1 billion, a move the FTC said neutralized the immediate threat and made it harder for other competitors to gain.
2012 also saw WhatsApp emerge as the “clear global leader in the mobile messaging category,” and so Facebook did it again, acquiring the company for $ 19 billion in February 2014. More steps were taken behind the scenes to maintain its position, according to FTC, as it did in 2013 when an API that enabled Twitter’s Vine Video app to reach friends on Facebook disabled.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) wavering for fences on this matter: The lawsuit seeks to “divest assets, divest or rebuild businesses (including, but not limited to, Instagram and / or WhatsApp), and such relief. Other sufficient to restore competition that would exist in the absence of the alleged complaint behavior. ” Illegally, this means the Federal Trade Commission wants courts to dismantle Facebook.
“Personal social networks are central to the lives of millions of Americans,” said Ian Conner, director of the competition office at the Federal Trade Commission. “Facebook’s actions to consolidate and maintain its monopoly deprive consumers of the benefits of competition. Our goal is to defeat Facebook’s anti-competitive behavior and restore competition so that innovation and free competition thrive.”
See this message from FTC Competition Director Ian Conner regarding: FTC lawsuit against Facebook for illegal monopoly: 12/12 pic.twitter.com/Cj57ACvIGJDecember 9, 2020
A complete Facebook meltdown is unlikely anytime soon, if at all, but there could be long-term repercussions. In a similar case, an investigation by Microsoft in the early 1990s led to a release of the A lawsuit against monopoly Filed in 1998 by the US Department of Justice and 20 government agents, it claims that the company is also involved in measures aimed at eliminating potential competition.
The Department of Justice won the case and Microsoft was ordered to split into two separate entities, one for Windows and one for everything else. This was the ruling Overruled on appeal, However; Microsoft agreed to a settlement with the US government in 2001 that opened the door to increased competition, although it remains one of the tech industry’s biggest players.
Facebook Vice President and General Counsel Jennifer Newsted described the lawsuit as “History revisionismIn a lengthy response, saying that the Instagram takeover was approved by the Federal Trade Commission when it happened in 2012, while the European Commission expressed its admiration for the acquisition of WhatsApp two years later.
“Now, many years later, with seemingly no regard for stable law or the consequences of innovation and investment, the agency says it has erred and wants a transgression. In addition to being revisionist history, that’s simply not how Newstead wrote the antitrust laws are supposed to work.
“No US antitrust agency has filed a case like this before, and for good reason. The Federal Trade Commission has stood on guard for years as Facebook has invested billions of dollars and millions of hours into making Instagram and WhatsApp in the apps that users enjoy today. In particular, two voted. Of the Federal Trade Commission delegates against the FTC’s action today. ”
We review complaints and will have more to say shortly. After years of the Federal Trade Commission liquidating our acquisitions, the government now wants a reset without any regard for the impact this precedent will have on the wider business community or the people who choose our products every day.December 9, 2020
She also indicated that there is an element of political motivation for the lawsuit, saying that Facebook is “aware of the atmosphere in which the Federal Trade Commission is raising this issue,” which includes difficult questions about its actions related to “elections, harmful content, and privacy.” But she added that these are. Not antitrust issues: “It is better to solve these difficult challenges by updating the rules of the Internet.”
Newstead wrote: “Facebook as we know it today would not have been possible without United States laws that encourage competition and innovation. We have succeeded because we made risky betting, invested, innovated, and delivered value to people, advertisers, and contributors.” .
“We have worked and still operate in a very competitive space. Our acquisitions have been good for competition, good for advertisers and good for people. We look forward to our day in court, when we are confident that the evidence will show that Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp belong together, and are competing for The advantages of great products. “