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Please disconnect Facebook, co-founder asks regulators



<img src = "https://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/GettyImages-587959238-800×546.jpg" alt = "Mark Zuckerberg and Chris Hughes on the Harvard campus Year 2004, long before Facebook began to conquer the world All over the world.

Rick Friedman / Corbis on Getty Images

Chris Hughes, co-founder of Facebook, is not just idly wondering if supervisors are disintegrating the technological monster He goes on a personal journey and meets with state and federal officials to explain in detail how he thinks it could be done.

Hughes has met with members of the Congress, the cartel department of the The Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission, and Dr. New York Attorney General Letitia James's office to provide a detailed reasoning for Facebook is too large for separate reports by The Washington Post and The New York Times

The Separation Tour Publicized in May Hughes wrote a lengthy article in The New York Times in which he said his former colleague Mark Zuckerberg had exerted too much power. "I am disappointed with myself and the early Facebook team that I have stopped thinking about how the news feed algorithm could change our culture, influence elections and strengthen nationalist leaders," Hughes wrote at the time. "And I'm worried that Mark has surrounded himself with a team that reiterates his beliefs rather than challenging them."

The technology and antitrust law experts Scott Hemphill and Tim Wu had already worked on a detailed case against Facebook grabbing Hughes after he was at the public. The trio are now working together to justify themselves.

Keeping Competition Away

As consumers and experts alike wonder whether Facebook's size and its oversized global market power make it easy to deal with user data and privacy Hemphill argues with a much more fundamental case of a good, old-fashioned, unfair, anticompetitive behavior.

Through "serial, defensive acquisitions", Facebook has prevented the competition from entering the market and cutting off innovations before they can flourish.

In other words, when a small business looks promising, Facebook jumps in and snaps it, eliminating competition and taking advantage of other developers' innovations.

The most obvious case is Instagram. The photo sharing service was launched in 201

0 as an iOS app. Facebook was able to call it in 2012 for a staggering billion dollars.

The Economist reported the trend in 2018, noting that this was not just the case Does an acquisition-intensive environment change the motivation for developers, but also that not all deals are as voluntary as they seem? According to The Economist, Facebook has acquired more than 75 smaller businesses in the last 15 years alone. Forcing Facebook to divest some of these companies, such as Instagram and WhatsApp, is a "weak fruit", a "pure vanilla violation" of the Sherman Act, the country's oldest antitrust law, Wu said.

Hughes No recent insider knowledge of Facebook activity as he left the company and paid off his shares in 2007. His status as a former Facebooker, who can speak with the personalities and motivations of the executives still in the room, strengthens the case, Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) informed the post.

The House Antitrust Subcommittee, chaired by Cicilline, launched an investigation last month on Facebook and other technology companies. Cicilline told the post it was "remarkable and significant" that Hughes had the "ability and courage" to voice his criticism against Facebook to members of the committee.

Back when Hughes split from Facebook, the idea of ​​an antitrust investigation came The company could have seemed absurd. But 12 years later, the company's tactic that allowed it to accumulate 2.4 billion users; the way the data of these users are bought, sold and traded; and its dominance in the advertising market are the focus of several investigations.

In addition to investigating the house, Facebook has confirmed this week that it is currently the target of an active antitrust investigation by the FTC. The Department of Justice's cartel department also said this week it is investigating "market-leading online platforms," ​​a category that typically includes at least Amazon, Facebook, and Google.

The last liquidation of a US company for antitrust reasons occurred in the early days of the Reagan Administration, when AT & T's "Ma Bell" broke into "baby bells" in 1984 following a settlement with the DOJ in 1982.

However, 35 years later, companies have largely re-aggregated and now include significant parts of AT & T and Verizon.


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