Monday, December 14, 2020

Facebook Slapped With Fresh Antitrust Charges From US Federal Trade Commission


The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), along with 48 states, have officially filed antitrust lawsuits against Facebook, nearly a month after compilation of the lawsuits began. The lawsuits seek to charge the social network for engaging in behaviour that they believe to be highly anti-competitive.

One theme that remains constant amidst the sea of antitrusts filings is Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram and the messaging app, WhatsApp. To recap quickly, the social media purchased Instagram back in 2012 for US$1 billion (~RM4.06 billion), while WhatsApp was acquired back in 2014. For a heftier sum of US$19 billion (~RM77.2 billion).

The FTC says that Mark Zuckerberg, CEO and founder of Facebook, acquired both Instagram and WhatsApp because he believed that it would “significantly hinder” other social network rivals from using the photo-sharing medium, but also eliminate the direct threats these platforms posed to it.

Facebook has already responded to FTC’s filing of the lawsuits, saying that its actions thus far are justifiable and defends its acquisition of Instagram and WhatsApp, as a move to go up against “world-class competitors” like Apple, Google, Twitter, and Amazon, to name a few.

We’ve mentioned this point many times before, but this is not the first time Facebook has come under fire from the FTC. Last year, the social media platform paid US$5 billion (~RM20.3 billion) in fines to the FTC for alleged mishandling of user data and privacy during the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

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