Facebook is in the news again recently- this time not about misinformation or whistle-blowers. This time, it’s because Facebook is no longer Facebook: it’s now Meta

(For an interesting take that this new “Metaverse” is “dead on arrival,” check out this article from the NY Mag. How that relates to our topic? A main argument by the article’s author is that Facebook has always just been a “collector”- just like you can collect friends on Facebook, Facebook has “collected’ (i.e., bought out) other social media companies like WhatsApp and Instagram.) 

Perhaps lost in all of the hubbub about Facebook’s rebranding to Meta is the fact that Facebook is still facing a large antitrust suit from the Federal Trade Commission, as well as another antitrust suit filed just a few days ago from a now-defunct photo-recognition app. 

What exactly does antitrust mean? (For more, see books like this one in the library catalog (and click on the subject heading for even more on the topic). 

Black’s Law Dictionary defines antitrust as “the body of law designed to protect trade and commerce from restraints, monopolies, price-fixing, and price discrimination.” The antitrust argument against Facebook is that it has created a social media monopoly- it has bought dozens of companies (see infographic here), totaling billions of dollars (and that total is just the sale amounts that have been disclosed). 

Personally, I find it difficult to say that Facebook/Meta is not a social media monopoly at this point, when it seems that it will buy up any company that might pose any kind of threat to it. I’ll be watching this upcoming litigation carefully!

Submitted by Emma E Babler on November 10, 2021

This article appears in the categories: Law Library

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