The United States Federal Trade Commission and 46 states have come together to sue Facebook for monopolistic practices. They accuse the social network of creating a “Systematic strategy” to eliminate threats to your monopoly, including the acquisition of Instagram in 2012 and the purchase of WhatsApp in 2014.
In addition to this serious accusation, the commission wants Facebook to disassociate itself from Instagram and WhatsApp. In other words, the objective is for them to become independent companies, as they were in the beginning. These are the words of Ian Conner, Director of the Competition Office of the Federal Trade Commission of the United States.
«Personal social media is critical to the lives of millions of Americans. Facebook’s actions to secure and maintain its monopoly deny consumers the benefits of competition. Our goal is to reverse Facebook’s anti-competitive behavior and restore competition so that innovation and free competition can flourish.«.
If you can’t compete, buy them
Facebook’s strategy has been quite clear, both with Instagram and WhatsApp. After several years trying to create alternatives to these social networks, and seeing that it was not possible, they decided to buy them directly to integrate and develop them themselves.
In addition, the commission reveals that it is not only worrying that these two companies now belong to Facebook, data crossing and integration of the three platforms hurts consumers and to the competition.
The Federal Trade Commission has been investigating Facebook for a year, and has revealed that its domain in social networks has provided “staggering earnings”, including revenue of more than $ 70 billion and profits of more than $ 18.5 billion in 2019.
Remember that these types of proposals are not new, some propose the same for other large technology companies such as Apple, Google or Amazon. However, no one doubts that Facebook’s monopoly on social networks is much higher than Apple may have, for example.