Facebook is only 15 years old, but it has become the world's dominant social media platform with more than 2.4 billion users. It has also become the second largest digital advertising platform in the world, taking second place in a global duopoly dominated by Google. At present, there are only a dozen investigations claiming it has been brought to the top by unfair, anticompetitive tactics ̵
Snap Snap's parent company spent years running a detailed dossier on Facebook's attempts to thwart it, sources told The Wall Street Journal. The file titled "Project Voldemort" after villain Harry Potter "tracked Facebook's footsteps that threatened to undermine Snaps business". 19659004] According to WSJ, Snap's legal team has registered cases in which Facebook has prevented prominent social media influencers with multi-platform presence from mentioning Snap on their Instagram accounts. Snap managers also suspected that Facebook suppressed Snap content from the trend on Instagram when that content was shared there.
Facebook twice tried to acquire Snapchat and was twice rejected. In 2013, Snap rejected a $ 3 billion takeover bid. Facebook reportedly made announcements in 2016 with the company, which went public at the beginning of 2017 instead.
After the snubs, Facebook began to clone many of Snapchat's most popular features, The Economist reported in 2018. Instagram Stories Launched In August 2016, Facebook Stories followed in March 2017.
Elimination of Competition?
The behavior of Facebook towards competitors is the focus of numerous antitrust investigations. Being the dominant player in a sector does not break the law, even if you are the only true player in a sector – as long as you play fair. The abuse of this market power or the active squeezing, suppressing or buying up of competitors is called anticompetitive behavior. The is illegal .
Startups are now harder to establish, The Economist reported last year, thanks to the overwhelming influence of the biggest tech players – Facebook, Google and Amazon – in the sector. "It's well known that big technology companies are intimidating startups to agree to a sale, saying that they will open a competitive service and take the startup out of business, unless they agree to a deal," said one source Negotiations on behalf of led A large technology company told The Economist:
The more acquisitions a company like Facebook makes, the better it is positioned for future acquisitions. The WSJ reports that Onavo, an Israeli startup that acquired Facebook in 2013, is also on the radar of the regulators. Onavo's free app advertised itself as a VPN and forwarded the traffic to Facebook servers where it could be logged and analyzed. Data collected by Onavo has clearly demonstrated to Facebook the growing popularity of Snapchat – and has shown Facebook when its Stories feature has successfully lured Snapchat users. Onavo's data also helped drive Facebook's acquisition of WhatsApp in 2014.
(Onavo was retrieved from Apple's App Store in 2018 and Google Play a few months later, and Facebook eventually discontinued it in May.) Also part of numerous antitrust investigations, the WSJ notes:
Copied in some cases the social media giant after the failure of Facebook overtures the characteristics of the previous goals.
For example, when Mr. Zuckerberg and the founder of startups, including Evan Spiegel, CEO of Snap, and Dennis Crowley, co-founder of Foursquare Inc., introduced them to two scenarios: Either they accept the price they paid for theirs Companies, or they face Facebook's efforts to copy their products and complicate the operation, according to those familiar with the matter. In both cases, after the companies rejected the offers, Facebook released features that mimicked the Snap and Foursquare products shortly after release.
In 2014, Foursquare moved from a consumer-focused app to providing location-based technologies and data for businesses.
Extending the Investigation
At the present time, a list of regulators not investigating Facebook may be easier to compile than a list of regulators.
In June, Congress launched an antitrust investigation into "competition" in digital markets. "Several hearings on this topic took place in June and July, with more scheduled for this fall The House Judiciary Committee recently sent a massive request for information to the four companies to obtain relevant data for a decade.
By July, all were The Department of Justice publicly acknowledged that its cartel department was actively investigating the widespread concerns consumers, businesses and entrepreneurs have about "market-leading online platforms." The agency did not name them, but added it to the list of "market leading "Platforms generally include Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google."
Facebook told investors this month that it was pursuing an open antitrust investigation by the Federal Trade Commission.
The Attorney Generals of several states have started early Month a cartel investigation g started on Facebook. New York Attorney General Letitia James, who led the coalition, said the investigation will determine "whether their actions endanger consumer data, compromise the quality of consumer decisions, or increase the price of advertising."
Meanwhile, Facebook could be an American company, but its global presence means that regulators worldwide have a vested interest in its behavior. According to media reports, the European Union is also actively investigating Facebook for antitrust reasons, and Member States such as Germany are also taking action. The Australian regulators also believe that they should take a closer look.