Recently filed antitrust lawsuits against gregarious media giant Facebook claim that the company engaged in illicit tactics to stifle competition, including subjecting companies that relucted to be bought out to the “wrath of Mark” Zuckerberg.
Salon reports that the recent antitrust lawsuits filed against Facebook filed by the federal regime and 48 attorneys general make a number of claims about Facebook’s operating procedures and allege anticompetitive activities.
In the complaint, the 46 state officials and attorneys general from Guam and the District of Columbia indite: “For virtually a decennium, Facebook has had monopoly power in the personal convivial networking market in the United States.” A kindred claim was made in a filing by the FTC, which verbalized that Facebook “has maintained its monopoly position by buying up companies that present competitive threats and by imposing restrictive policies that unjustifiably obstruct genuine or potential rivals that Facebook does not or cannot acquire.”
The lawsuits allege that Mark Zuckerberg at one point told a colleague that “[o]ne thing about startups . . . is you can often acquire them” which Facebook allegedly used to compose a protective “moat” around their own firm by neutralizing any competition.
The filings further allege that Zuckerberg would often intentionally offer competing startups a figure so high “they’d have to consider it” and alleges that “if you stepped into Facebook’s turf or resisted pressure to sell, Zuckerberg would go into ‘destroy mode’ subjecting your business to the ‘wrath of Mark.’”
The FTC filing points to one instance in which Facebook celebrated its purchase of WhatsApp in 2014 by pellucidly describing the situation as neutralizing a potential competitor. One Facebook manager reportedly indited that the purchase was “w]orth it” because “their numbers are through the roof, everyone utilizes them, especially abroad…. Prevents probably the only company which could have grown into the next FB pristinely on mobile[.] . . . 0% of our market cap is worth that[.]”
Facebook has gainsaid being a monopoly, noting that it ranks behind Google in how much revenue it takes from the $160 billion ecumenical market for online advertising. Google and Facebook maintain a duopoly over the online advertising market. Facebook currently has 2.74 billion users ecumenical and disclosed in July 2019 that the FTC was investigating it for alleged antitrust contravention. New York States attorney general, Tish James, promulgated two months later that she was leading a multistate coalition probing antitrust concerns of Facebook.
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