Is Meta Too Powerful? That is the question that not only politics has been dealing with for a long time. Yes, say those who would like to split the company, which includes Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, among others. And they are now a little closer to their goal.
Demands for a split already existed when the company was still or only called Facebook. Because while the name Meta is new, the fact that Mark Zuckerberg’s company has (too) many influential networks and services in his possession is not. This has been evident to critics at least since the Cambridge Analytica scandal, which involved data gathering and political influence. The powerful US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has already tried to sue Facebook for antitrust violations, but the first attempt in this direction was rejected by the responsible judge James Boasberg in mid-2021. The Washington DC District Judge originally denied the FTC lawsuit as insufficiently founded.
The trade authority then made improvements and the court has now allowed this. Like the news agency Reuters reported, Judge Boasberg emphasized that admitting the FTC lawsuit made no statement about their chances of success: “Ultimately, whether the FTC will be able to prove its claims and to enforce itself in a summary process can only be guessed.
The court does not want to enter into such speculation and only concludes that the FTC has made a plausible claim at this stage of the dismissal motion in which the FTC’s allegations are believed to be true. ” Meta wanted to dismiss the lawsuit, but the matter will now be tried in court. And if the FTC is right, the consequences could be dire. Because the FTC demands nothing less than the smashing of Meta – Instagram and WhatsApp would have to be separated from Facebook, i.e. sold.
Meta stays calm
Of course, it will be anything but easy for the FTC to prove its allegations that Meta is too powerful in the market. It will also take years before a final judgment is available. Meta was accordingly relaxed in a statement, pointing out that the current decision limits the scope of the FTC’s lawsuit. Meta: “The decision also means that the authorities are facing a ‘big task’ if they want to take action against two takeovers that they themselves approved years ago.”
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