For Facebook the accusation of being a digital monopoly does not stand

For Facebook the accusation of being a digital monopoly does not stand

The social network rejects the charges of the antitrust lawsuit led by the Federal Trade Commission, which would require it to sell Instagram and Whatsapp

(Photo by Alex Wong / Getty Images) "None of the damages typically associated with antitrust cases is found in this case ": this is how Facebook pulls itself out of the monopoly charges raised by a lawsuit filed in December by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and by 46 US states in the Columbia District Court, supported by the favorable vote of three commissioners on five of the government authority. The Menlo Park company claims that the plaintiffs have failed to prove the allegations of "personal monopoly illegally maintained through multi-year anti-competitive conduct" and therefore asks the federal court to close the case.

The FTC aims to obtain from federal court a 'permanent injunction against Facebook, for the company to sell the assets of Instagram and WhatsApp, stop imposing anticompetitive conditions on software developers and notify for approval of future mergers and acquisitions. The result of such practices would have limited the users' possibilities in being able to choose a social network, deprived advertisers of the advantages of competition in the advertising market and ultimately damaged the competition.

The commissioners retraced the history of the social network giant, which in 2020 reached 2.6 billion active users per month. The acquisition of Instagram, one billion dollars in 2012, would have been carried out because Mark Zuckerberg had recognized "an existential threat" to the monopoly power of Facebook ", at a time when users migrated from PC to smartphone and discovered the sharing photos. The $ 19 billion acquisition of WhatsApp in 2014 would have "neutralized an emerging danger", making it more difficult for future competitors to take over in instant messaging. Furthermore, the commissioners recalled how in 2013 Facebook had cut the API that allowed the short video application Vine of Twitter to reach the friends of a user on Facebook, imposing more generally anticompetitive conditions on developers of other platforms. br>
Menlo Park believes that the government administration has failed to actually demonstrate any monopoly in any market that is clearly defined or has harmed consumers. In addition, he dismissed some Zuckerberg emails cited in the Ftc lawsuit, asserting that in the absence of evidence "the FTC attempted to reinforce its statements with a handful of sentences selectively quoted from emails and messages from Facebook executives", which in actually they were worried not only about Instagram and WhatsApp but also about "many, many other companies". Even the states and local authorities would not have shown any damage suffered by Facebook, having waited over four years. States that have joined this bipartisan cause will be able to respond by April 7. District of Columbia Judge James Boasberg will hear them.

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