Facebook reportedly offered to help another company build a rival social network to fight off an antitrust lawsuit
Facebook may have offered to help competitors build a competing social media network to fend off an antitrust lawsuit. YouTube / Home Justice
The Washington Post reported that Facebook offered to give other tech companies access to its code through licensing agreements to help build a rival social media network.
Facebook attorneys proposed the idea to state and state investigators days before they filed major antitrust lawsuits against the company.
The US Federal Trade Commission and 48 attorneys general filed a lawsuit against Facebook on Dec. 9 to cancel Instagram and WhatsApp.
The suits signal a wider US effort to strengthen oversight and regulation over Facebook.
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Facebook may have offered to help competitors build a competing social media company to avoid antitrust allegations.
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The Washington Post reported that Facebook has proposed signing licensing deals with other companies, who in turn would have access to the Facebook code, to help build a competing social network. Facebook attorneys reportedly presented the idea to state and state investigators days before they filed major antitrust lawsuits against the company on Dec. 9.
The US Federal Trade Commission and 48 attorneys general filed lawsuits against Facebook for breaking Instagram and WhatsApp. The suits claim Facebook neutralized competitors before they got big enough to compromise the company's dominance.
Read more: How Apple, Google, and other browser manufacturers are quietly pondering the future of the web
The pressure to break Facebook has increased in recent years. The European Union has been researching Facebook's data practices and the marketplace platform since 2019. Four tech firms, two of which no longer exist, sued Facebook in January, urging Mark Zuckerberg to step down over anti-competitive strategies.
The attorneys general recently sued Google in part for allegedly entering into a contract with Facebook to give the social network unfair advertising advantages.
Representative David Cicilline, chairman of the House Antitrust Subcommittee, said Facebook should be disbanded after "classic monopoly behavior" was demonstrated.
In preparation for the FTC lawsuit, Facebook hired former government antitrust attorneys and launched internal initiatives that focused on "competition issues," sources the Post said. Business Insider's Rob Price reported that Facebook began hiring lawyers and policy experts in May 2019.
Read more: Google could have been dissolved after strict EU plans for Big Tech: "What counts is enforcement"
Facebook saw a drop of 2 million daily active users in the US and Canada in the third quarter, but posted revenue of $ 21.5 billion over the same period.
Legal experts and Wall Street analysts doubt the court will dismantle Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, but told Business Insider's Katie Canales that the suits signaled a wider government drive to strengthen oversight and regulation over big tech.
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