At the beginning of year, before the COVID-19 pandemic threw the world into disarray, the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that it would be launching antitrust investigations into some of the biggest tech firms on the planet – namely Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Apple and Amazon.
Said investigation for Facebook in particular was expected to be completed before the year’s end, but reports suggest that will not happen. More specifically the New York Times and Wall Street Journal are reporting that the investigation will likely stretch into 2021.
Neither the FTC, nor Facebook, has commented on the reports, but it is believed that both parties are still int he very early stages of the investigation, with the request and sending over of documents still to take place.
As Engadget notes, Facebook is keen on engaging with stakeholders in terms of its view of the competitive landscape, which is likely something that CEO Mark Zuckerberg hopes to unpack during his 27th July, when he is expected to appear before the United States Congress.
These investigations are not aimed at tackling any specific regulations or infringing of the law, but rather looks to give the FTC greater insight into how large firms like Facebook handle acquisitions and whether there is anything untoward happening in that regard.
With Facebook already owning Instagram and WhatsApp, as well as recently acquiring Giphy, it’s influence as far as what happens in the realm of social media is quite considerable.
As such the FTC could be looking into just how much of the market a company like Facebook should dominate, but whether it has the scope or powers to stop the platform, is another question entirely.
Either way this investigation is far from complete, and won’t be the last time that the dealings of the company are probed.[Image – Photo by Alex Haney on Unsplash]