Zuckerberg May Lose WhatsApp and Instagram
OREANDA-NEWS. On December 9, the FTC, along with attorneys general from 46 states and two counties, filed a lawsuit against Facebook. The authors of the complaint are confident that Facebook adheres to a special strategy and, with its help, maintains a personal monopoly on the social media market. The success of the company's policy is confirmed by its revenues: in 2019 alone, Facebook earned more than $ 70 billion, and the corporation's profits amounted to more than $ 18.5 billion.
Despite the fact that both deals were approved by the US authorities, according to the court decision, Facebook may be obliged to sell both applications and in the future request approvals for purchases valued at $ 10 million or more. Why the largest assets can be taken away from the social network - in the material "Lenta.ru".
Instagram's $ 1 billion acquisition in April 2012 simultaneously neutralized a direct threat to Facebook and made it harder for other social networks to compete with the corporation. This noted in the report of the Federal Trade Commission.
Another complaint concerned the purchase of the WhatsApp messenger. The deal took place in 2014, Facebook paid $ 19 billion (part of the deal was paid for with Facebook shares, due to the change in their value, the total amount increased to $ 22 billion). The lawsuit claims that it was then that the corporation realized that instant messengers also pose a serious threat to monopoly power. “Facebook's management understood that a successful mobile messaging application could enter the social media market either by adding new features or using a separate application, and was afraid of this,” the authors of the lawsuit are sure.
Another complaint against Facebook was that the company had prohibited third-party software developers from interacting with its platform for years. Key APIs were available to them only if they refrained from developing applications with competing functionality or from promoting other services. For example, when Twitter launched the Vine service for sharing short videos in 2013, Facebook blocked it from accessing friends through the app.
It is likely that the litigation will last for years, and so far the only measure that the monopolist faced was fines: for example, in 2019, the Federal Trade Commission fined Facebook five billion dollars for transferring data from 87 million social network users that were collected without the consent of their owners. The corporation is periodically fined in other countries. For example, in Russia the social network was found guilty of violating legislation in the field of personal data. True, Facebook simply ignored the fine of four million rubles.