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The FTC wants Facebook to stop gobbling up its competition

The commission requests that Facebook sell both Instagram and WhatsApp.

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Image: KnowTechie

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is fed up with Facebook’s gigantic presence. The commission has filed an amended complaint that accuses the company of operating a monopoly and requests that the social giant sell both Instagram and WhatsApp.

According to a post on the FTC website, the complaint was officially filed earlier this week. The complaint claims that Facebook has made it difficult to compete in the social media market by buying up competitors to create a monopoly of sorts.

Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion after the app saw a boom in popularity in 2012. The company also owns WhatsApp, which has incredible popularity internationally. Facebook acquired WhatsApp in 2014 for $4 billion.

The FTC’s complaint references a 2008 email from Mark Zuckerberg, where the Facebook boss says “it is better to buy than compete.” It looks like the company took those words to heart.

As part of the complaint, the FTC claims that Facebook uses its incredible wealth as a tool to eliminate competition. For that, the suit requests that Facebook is required to sell both Instagram and WhatsApp in an effort to decrease some of the control that Facebook has over the social media market.

Personally, I really like the complaint. I do think it’s hard to argue that Facebook has a monopoly, with several other successful social media platforms out there.

However, their buying power does give them the ability to “buy and bury,” which is a big slap in the face to a free market. The FTC argues that if Facebook isn’t stopped, that it will continue to buy up the smaller fish to ensure that it remains the king of the pond.

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