Facebook is under tremendous regulatory pressure and seems to be preparing for the worst. The Wall Street Journal stated that if the government orders the split and release of Instagram and WhatsApp, it will obtain a document outlining Facebook’s defense.
According to reports, the social media giant will argue that based on the past actions (or lack of action) of officials, the split will be a “complete loser”.
According to the leak, Facebook argued that its acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp passed the FTC’s rigorous review without any objections, which led to Facebook investing a lot of money in these two projects when integrating them into operations.
Facebook claims that breaking up would cost billions of dollars and running separate systems, which would reduce security and harm the user experience.
Facebook declined to comment on the apparent leak. In the past, it has been seeking to strengthen supervision (albeit limited) instead of breaking up.
It is not certain that this defense will persist. Tim Wu, a professor at Columbia University and an expert on technology policy, said that the FTC’s past approvals were “weak.”
Wu said that the regulator did not consider the possibility of Facebook buying Instagram and WhatsApp to suppress competition-it will not rule out the possibility of a breakup due to changes in circumstances. The difficulty of breaking up may not affect the decision.
Facebook may soon provide some kind of defense. There are rumors that the Federal Trade Commission is preparing to initiate an antitrust lawsuit before the end of 2020, and the House of Representatives may release the results of its antitrust investigation in late October. Neither will be particularly friendly to Facebook, and the split is easy to put on the table.