News

Economy & Business

FTC Considers Seeking Injunction to Block Facebook from Integrating Messaging Apps

Federal Trade Commission seal is seen at a news conference in Washington, U.S., July 24, 2019. (Yuri Gripas/Reuters)

The Federal Trade Commission is reportedly considering requesting a preliminary injunction against Facebook to block the company from integrating its various messaging applications.

The injunction would stop Facebook from combining the technology supporting WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger in the interest of preventing the mammoth social media company from becoming harder to potentially break up if the FTC decides it has stifled competition, the New York Times reported Thursday.

If Facebook combines the apps, the platform’s more than 2.7 billion users would be able to access the same messages on all three messaging services.

Facebook’s purchase of WhatsApp and Instagram raised eyebrows of critics who worry that “serial defensive acquisitions” by large companies including Google and Amazon pose competition concerns. Facebook said in July that the FTC was investigating the Silicon Valley company over potential antitrust issues.

The FTC would need a majority of its five members to apply for the injunction and would need to sue for it in federal court. The commission is expected to make a decision on the matter next month.

Lawmakers have also expressed concerns this year that the enormous tech companies are engaging in “anti-competitive conduct” and called for their breakup.

“The open internet has delivered enormous benefits to Americans, including a surge of economic opportunity, massive investment, and new pathways for education online,” House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler said in June. “But there is growing evidence that a handful of gatekeepers have come to capture control over key arteries of online commerce, content, and communications.”

Facebook CEO has argued that breaking up his company would not solve the problems critics think it would.

“The question that I think we have to grapple with is that breaking up these companies wouldn’t make any of those problems better,” Zuckerberg said. “The amount that we’re investing in safety and security is greater than the whole revenue of our company was earlier this decade when we went public, so it just would not have been possible to do the things we’re doing at a smaller scale.”

Most Popular

White House

On the Bidens, Schiff Opened the Door

You opened the door. Trial lawyers live in fear of that phrase. When a trial starts, both sides know what the allegations are. Both have had enough discovery to know what the adversary will try to prove. Just as significantly, both know what their own vulnerabilities are. A litigator spends his pretrial ... Read More
White House

On the Bidens, Schiff Opened the Door

You opened the door. Trial lawyers live in fear of that phrase. When a trial starts, both sides know what the allegations are. Both have had enough discovery to know what the adversary will try to prove. Just as significantly, both know what their own vulnerabilities are. A litigator spends his pretrial ... Read More
World

Alarmists Were Wrong about the Soleimani Strike

Two weeks ago, the United States seemed on the brink of starting another war in the Middle East after a drone strike killed Iran’s most notorious spymaster, Qasem Soleimani, as he departed an international airport in Baghdad. The shadowy general, in charge of the Iranian equivalent of the CIA, was one of the ... Read More
World

Alarmists Were Wrong about the Soleimani Strike

Two weeks ago, the United States seemed on the brink of starting another war in the Middle East after a drone strike killed Iran’s most notorious spymaster, Qasem Soleimani, as he departed an international airport in Baghdad. The shadowy general, in charge of the Iranian equivalent of the CIA, was one of the ... Read More
Elections

Buttigieg’s Hollow Military Bragging

The term “veteran” wields a strange talismanic power in American politics today; the military is almost the only institution in American life that has maintained very high favorability ratings over the past 30 years. Invocation of the sacred words “military service” invariably grants a presumed license to ... Read More
Elections

Buttigieg’s Hollow Military Bragging

The term “veteran” wields a strange talismanic power in American politics today; the military is almost the only institution in American life that has maintained very high favorability ratings over the past 30 years. Invocation of the sacred words “military service” invariably grants a presumed license to ... Read More
White House

Impeachment Doesn’t Require a Crime

Senate Republicans, by and large, have reached an unspoken consensus about President Trump and Ukraine. He should not have put a temporary freeze on congressionally authorized aid to Ukraine, should not have dabbled with using the aid to get Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden or a nutty theory about Ukrainian ... Read More
White House

Impeachment Doesn’t Require a Crime

Senate Republicans, by and large, have reached an unspoken consensus about President Trump and Ukraine. He should not have put a temporary freeze on congressionally authorized aid to Ukraine, should not have dabbled with using the aid to get Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden or a nutty theory about Ukrainian ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Clarence Thomas Speaks

Those who know Justice Clarence Thomas say that any perception of him as dour or phlegmatic couldn't be more off-base. He's a charming, gracious, jovial man, full of bonhomie and easy with a laugh, or so I'm told by people who know him well. On summer breaks he likes to roam around the country in an RV and stay ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Clarence Thomas Speaks

Those who know Justice Clarence Thomas say that any perception of him as dour or phlegmatic couldn't be more off-base. He's a charming, gracious, jovial man, full of bonhomie and easy with a laugh, or so I'm told by people who know him well. On summer breaks he likes to roam around the country in an RV and stay ... Read More