FTC files new complaint against Facebook ‘monopoly’
FTC’s initial complaint, filed in December, threatened the Californian group with the separation of the Instagram network and the WhatsApp messaging service, but Washington federal judge James Boeasberg had estimated that it lacked “hard elements of power real from Facebook”.
The revised complaint gives more details about the means used by the company to eliminate competition, particularly in the early 2010s when the mobile internet market emerged.
“Facebook lacked the technical expertise and talent needed to survive the transition to mobile,” said Holly Vedova, interim director of the FTC’s Competition division, quoted in a statement.
“After failing to compete against new innovators, Facebook illegally bought or liquidated them when their popularity became an existential threat,” continued, referring to the Instagram app and the WhatsApp messaging service.
According to the new complaint, Facebook’s monopoly is “protected by important barriers” to entry into its market, in such a way that “even a new operator, with a better product, cannot succeed because facebook is a dominant social network”.
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The judge had given the regulator 30 days to present new elements likely to allow the continuation of the lawsuit in court.
James Boasberg criticized the initial dossier, because of the lack of evidence and clear definition of the market in question with the so-called Facebook monopoly.
According to this judge, the federal agency based its complaint on a vague assertion that Facebook controls more than 60% of the social media market.
This time around, the FTC highlighted that “personal social networks are a unique and distinct type of online service” and a market controlled by more than 65% by Facebook, with its main platform, and Instagram, therefore a monopoly.
At the same time, investigations and prosecutions for abuse of dominant position in the US and other countries against other internet conglomerates such as Google, Apple and Amazon are ongoing.