In recent years, Facebook has faced a seemingly never-ending string of controversies, from privacy and content moderation issues to concerns over its business practices. That’s why an increasing number of lawmakers in the U.S. have expressed an interest in splitting up the tech giant through antitrust law — a route explored by several cases filed against Facebook by the government. However, that plan was dealt a major blow this week when a federal judge dismissed the Federal Trade Commission’s complaint against Facebook.
The FTC’s case alleged that Facebook has crushed the market by purchasing apps like WhatsApp and Instagram, and if it had been successful, those apps would’ve been forced to disentangle from the parent company. However, because the case was dismissed, Facebook can continue as it always has: vacuuming up potential rivals and absorbing even more user data.
“Today’s development in the FTC’s case against Facebook shows that antitrust reform is urgently needed,” Rep. Ken Buck said in a statement. “Congress needs to provide additional tools and resources to our antitrust enforcers to go after Big Tech companies engaging in anticompetitive conduct.”
It would be a net positive for user privacy if Facebook controlled less of the market. However, that unfortunately doesn’t appear to be happening anytime soon.
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