Here to find out if the second time really is a charm, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has been granted permission to move forward with another antitrust case against Facebook.
Catch up: Facebook bought Instagram in 2012 and WhatsApp in 2014. Years later, federal and state prosecutors started pushing to break up the social media giant.
- In June 2021, US District Judge James Boasberg rejected the complaints against Facebook due to lack of evidence supporting claims that the tech giant dominates the social media market.
- Tasked with explaining the math behind claims that Facebook has a market share of at least 60%, the FTC came back with stronger evidence, including now-Meta's active daily users and how much time they spent on Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.
- “FTC lawyers are asking the judge for remedies including potentially forcing Facebook to spin off Instagram and WhatsApp into separate divisions,” per NPR.
What happened: The FTC received the green light and can now go to the “discovery stage,” where both sides will collect more information in preparation for a trial.
Big picture: The FTC suit against Meta is part of regulators’ broader effort to break up big tech companies. The number of mega takeover deals—ranging from US$25 billion to $50 billion—dropped in 2021, signalling a toughened stance on competition policy in the US.