According to the FTC, Facebook has been involved in anti-competitive practices for years that are inconsistent with US antitrust laws that regulate corporate conduct and are designed to promote competition for the benefit of consumers. Regulators are asking for the cancellation of Facebook's recent acquisitions, and more specifically Instagram and WhatsApp, and demanding appropriate consents for future purchases. Of course, this isn't the first time Facebook has struggled with the Federal Trade Commission, but the first time the company has faced a lawsuit from lawmakers who launched an investigation into the case last year.
48 state attorneys general, led by Letitia Jame of New York, also share the opinion, who also accused Facebook of similar practices, claiming that Movie sider had illegally suppressed competition. Of course, in the center are the above-mentioned purchases from 2012 and 2014, i.e. the acquisition by Mark Zuckerberg of Instagram for $ 1 billion and WhatsApp for $ 19 billion, respectively. Both sides, ie the FTC and states prosecutors, take the position that Facebook bought the companies to neutralize competition perceived as a threat to its own position.
- Mr. Zuckerberg came to the conclusion that by acquiring and controlling Instagram, Facebook will not only get rid of the direct threat posed by this website, but also - as a provider of a social network - will significantly hinder the popularity of other applications for sharing photos on smartphones. As with Instagram, WhatsApp represented a powerful threat to the social monopoly, so instead of competing with it, Facebook chose to buy it, according to FTC court papers.
Prosecutors add that the contracts ultimately hurt users because they had a negative impact on their privacy and limited possible alternatives to Facebook services. Moreover, Facebook increased the amount of data collected about users and the number of advertisements placed on services, while not dealing with fake accounts and disinformation. What does the interested person himself say? In the words of his VP and chief lawyer, Jennifer Newstead, he called the lawsuits historical revisionism and assured that he would defend himself with all his might against these allegations: - Antitrust law exists to protect consumers and promote innovation, not to punish successful businesses . Instagram and WhatsApp have become such unbelievable products because Facebook has invested billions of dollars in them and years of innovation and experience to create new features and better experiences for the millions who enjoy using them (...). We intend to actively defend these people's choices.