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Facebook's plan to merge messaging services ignites antitrust concerns



 Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg arrives at the Senate Judiciary Committee on Facebook on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Images

Facebook's founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Senate Judiciary Committee on Facebook on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

Facebook's reported plans to integrate

The last year has been brutal for Facebook. The company is facing intense pressure over its privacy practices and platform manipulation by foreign actors. At a hearing of international lawmakers in the U.K. in November, a Canadian representative suggested antitrust might be the solution to Facebook's problems.

"What are they … are the symptoms," said Charlie Angus, Canada's vice chairman of the House of Commons' standing committee on access to information, privacy and ethics. "Perhaps the best regulation would be antitrust."

Proponents of breaking up Facebook have suggested spinning out WhatsApp or Instagram. The company's family of apps sees 2.5 billion users each month and dominates mobile traffic. But Daniel Crane, a law professor at the University of Michigan, said that "combining the back-end technology of the service should not be factor in that issue."


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