Is Facebook a monopoly? | The Economist
AFinally, it is Event. Or thought the big tech critics. President Joe Biden appointed one of them, Lina Khan, to chair the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The Parliamentary Commission has approved six bills to curb Alphabet, Amazon, Apple and Facebook. Then, on June 28, a federal judge was very realistic in jointly dismissing two antitrust proceedings against Facebook.
The unexpected move that sent Facebook’s market value to over $ 1,000 billion reminded us that in the United States, the expanding “tech crash” could have subtle consequences. Judge James Bosburg, appointed by Mr Biden’s former boss Barack Obama, has dismissed one of the cases filed by 46 states for his expertise. Complaints accusing Facebook of having bought out its first competitors such as Instagram in 2012 and WhatsApp in 2014 to strengthen its advantage on social networks were considered too late. More deeply, the judge found a second case. FTC, “Legal unsuitable”. “It appears the agencies are expecting the court to just wink at TK that Facebook is the monopoly. [in social-networking], “He wrote.
It certainly seems to be FTC Expected. Facebook claimed to have “a dominant market share (over 60%)” without explaining what the market was. We have also defined “personal social network” to exclude professional networks (LinkedIn) and video sharing sites (YouTube).
To give FTC Naturally, the digital market he portrays is devilishly delicate. Most social media companies, like Facebook, don’t charge users, so the general approach of looking at industry consumer sales doesn’t help. Facebook has paying customers, that is, companies that buy ads on their platforms, but the scope of the market is ambiguous. If all American online advertising is significant, its share is 25%. economist (See table).. Looking only at social media ads, it has jumped to 60% in the United States (although Facebook’s share of the world is declining). However, the qualifications as a social media are amorphous due to the emergence of features, rivals and confusion.
The judge admitted that Facebook has market power (“Anyone who hears the title of the 2010 film” Social network “wonders what company it is”), FTC 30 days to show this more precisely. But he also abandoned one of the main demands of the institution. The· FTC Facebook accused him of curbing competition by blocking rivals from its platform. According to the case law of the Supreme Court, the judge stressed that such an act was legal. The monopoly has no “obligation to deal”.
This can make sense in the analog world. Critics like Kahn argue that digital platforms, where the dominant platform closely resembles a pipeline-owned utility, are tantamount to a license to kill competition. Other lawsuits against Big Tech, such as those involving Apple and Google, will put more emphasis on demands for antitrust reforms. Even that may not be enough to pass one of the six bills, or something like them, in a stuck Senate. Despite Washington’s bipartisan consensus that Big Tech is too powerful, Democrats and Republicans are unlikely to agree on the details of what to do about it. ■■
This article was published in the Business section under the title “Is Facebook Exclusive?”