Facebook owns 85% of personal social media market and needs to be broken up, says FTC

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Facebook controls 85% of the personal social media market through its acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp, making it an illegal monopoly that has hurt consumers and competitors, the Federal Trade Commission argued in court documents released Wednesday. .

The commission’s analysis of Facebook user metrics is key to its Facebook takedown case.

A federal judge dismissed the commission’s first antitrust lawsuit against Facebook earlier this year, saying the FTC failed to make a compelling case about the company’s dominant market share and unfair monopoly behavior.

The tech giant’s anti-competitive behavior has hurt the social media market by dramatically reducing innovation, quality improvements and consumer choice in advertising and privacy options, the commerce commission said in a statement. a recently released version of its antitrust complaint against the company.

“Facebook has obstructed, suppressed and deterred the emergence and growth of rival personal social networking providers and unlawfully maintained its monopoly in the United States personal social networking market by means other than competition on the merits,” the company said. Commerce Commission in its court file.

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Facebook retained control of 85% of the personal social networking services market from 2012 to 2020, based on FTC analysis of Comscore time-spent data.

The analysis showed that even if only half of the time US users spent on Facebook and Instagram was spent on personal social networking services, the company would still have maintained its dominant market share.

The new Commerce Commission complaint also points out that more than 200 million US users visit Facebook every day and more than 80% of all US internet users visit the website monthly.

“Facebook’s course of action eliminated fledgling rivals and extinguished the possibility that the independent existence of those rivals could allow other Internet platforms to overcome the significant barriers to entry that protect Facebook’s monopoly position.” , the trade commission complaint said.

By monopolizing the personal social networking market, Facebook has especially deprived advertisers of the benefits of competition, such as lower advertising prices and increased choice, quality and innovation in advertising, highlights the trial.

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The lawsuit also says consumers’ choices have been narrowed when it comes to data protection privacy options, including but not limited to options around controversial data collection and use practices. Facebook data.

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