- Facebook is under scrutiny by the regulatory board and can take action against the lawsuit
- Leaked document offers a preview of the social-media company’s (Facebook) defense against Congress
- The FTC is rumored to be readying an antitrust lawsuit by the end of 2020.
Facebook is under scrutiny by the regulatory board, and it appears to be bracing itself to fight against the Subsidiary apps breakup. The Wall Street Journal says it has obtained a document outlining Facebook’s defense. The lawsuit takes place if the government orders a breakup that would unload Instagram and WhatsApp. The social media giant would reportedly argue that a split would be a “complete nonstarter” based on officials’ past actions or lack thereof.
The document, reviewed by The Wall Street Journal offers a preview of Facebook’s defense as federal antitrust enforcers. The members of Congress continue to pursue investigations into Facebook’s power and past behavior. Probes of other technology companies such as Google, Amazon.com Inc., and Apple Inc. are also ongoing.
Facebook faces scrutiny
According to certain sources, Facebook claims that Instagram and WhatsApp passed FTC scrutiny without objections. This led to massive income into both projects as Facebook integrated them into its operations. A breakup would require spending billions and running separate systems that reduced security and hurt the user experience, Facebook would claim.
Facebook has declined to comment on the apparent leak. In the past, it has pushed for extra regulation (albeit limited) in place of the Facebook subsidiary apps breakup.
There’s no certainty a defense like this would hold up. FTC’s past approval would be “weak.” The regulator hadn’t considered the possibility that Facebook was buying Instagram and WhatsApp to squash competition, it wasn’t going to rule out a breakup as circumstances changed. The difficulty of a breakup might not factor into the decision, either.
Facebook might have to offer some kind of defense before long. The FTC is rumored to be readying an antitrust lawsuit by the end of 2020, and the House could release its antitrust investigation results later in October. Neither is likely to be particularly kind to Facebook, and a split-up could easily be on the table.