U.S. FTC calls Facebook an illegal ‘personal social networking’ monopoly

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on Wednesday fired back at Facebook’s attempt to dismiss the regulator’s lawsuit seeking to break up the social media giant, as Big Tech continues to face scrutiny from the government. “The court should deny Facebook’s motion,” the commission said in a document filed late Wednesday, arguing that “Facebook holds monopoly power over personal social networking (‘PSN’) services in the U.S., and is violating the antitrust laws by maintaining its monopoly through means other than competition on the merits.”

Alexis Keenan for Yahoo Finance:

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg
In March, Facebook argued in its motion to dismiss that the FTC’s lawsuit was legally defective because it failed to identify a relevant market in which the company purportedly holds a monopoly. According to Facebook, because its services are free of charge, no PSN market exists for the purpose of substantiating an antitrust claim.

Facebook also said the agency neglected to credibly allege that it had acquired monopoly power over a market, and failed to make reasonable allegations that the company had engaged in unlawful exclusionary conduct. Facebook said the FTC also had no authority to sue over actions it had already approved: Facebook’s acquisition of messaging service WhatsApp in 2014 for $19 billion, and its acquisition of photo-sharing site Instagram in 2012 for $1 billion.

The FTC’s lawsuit is seeking to force Facebook to break off WhatsApp and Instagram. The social media giant also faces a lawsuit from dozens of attorneys general claiming it’s violating antitrust law by buying up competitors and depriving consumers of alternatives that would better protect their privacy.

Free or not, the FTC argues in its filing that courts have condemned monopolists for resorting to anticompetitive practices similar to the actions of Facebook, and that a relevant market does in fact exist because PSN services in the U.S. are not “reasonably interchangeable” with other services.

MacDailyNews Take: Facebook is insidious and gross.

Facebook is to privacy as Chernobyl is to nuclear power.MacDailyNews, February 3, 2021

As I’ve said before, if we accept as normal and unavoidable that everything in our lives can be aggregated and sold, we lose so much more than data, we lose the freedom to be human… If a business is built on misleading users, on data exploitation, on choices that are no choices at all, it does not deserve our praise, it deserves reform… Too many are still asking the question, “how much can we get away with?” when they should be asking “what are the consequences?”Apple CEO Tim Cook, January 2021

Zuckerberg: Yeah so if you ever need info about anyone at Harvard
Zuckerberg: Just ask
Zuckerberg: I have over 4,000 emails, pictures, addresses, SSNs
Zuckerberg: People just submitted it.
Zuckerberg: I don’t know why.
Zuckerberg: They “trust me”
Zuckerberg: Dumb fucks

(Instant messages sent by Mark Zuckerberg during Facebook’s early days, reported by Business Insider in May 2010.)

Zuckerberg is like a really early model that somehow escaped Westworld.MacDailyNews, April 12, 2018

If you trust Mark Zuckerberg to be the keeper of your photos, contacts, political views, religious beliefs, etc., you’re batshit insane. — MacDailyNews, May 23, 2018

All of these “social media” platforms – Twitter, Parler, Facebook – are cancers on society. They are clearly eating society from the inside out. There’s something unsavory within human nature that “digital distance” amplifies to the point of disgust.

If you quit these cancers you will quickly realize what they are and what they do. You will be happier and healthier to have excised them from your life.

We haven’t had personal Twitter or Facebook accounts for many years now. And very happily so.MacDailyNews, January 9, 2021

We use FaceBook as an RSS feed. Our CMS automatically reposts our article headlines and links them back to our website. That is our only interaction with Facebook and has been our only interaction with Facebook for years. We deleted our personal accounts [which we opened only so we could understand the Facebook phenomenon] many years ago.

If you want to share photos and videos with friends, text them using Apple’s end-to-end encrypted iMessage service. You need to control your social networking, not cede it to a gatekeeper like Facebook. – MacDailyNews, March 19, 2018

As we’ve said many times: Delete Facebook.


  1. Is Facebook a monopoly? Facebook may be guilty of egregious behavior periodically but they are no more a monopoly than Apple. No one is forced to use Facebook. There are plenty of social media services, but none quite like Facebook. The whole reason it works is because people flock to it. Calling it a monopoly is like calling the Internet a monopoly.

    I mean how are you going to break it up? FacBook A, FaceBook B, FaceBook C,… FaceBook Z?

            1. Applecynic, you must have a sickeningly sad life to spend your time trashing Apple on a pro Apple forum. You are severely damaged and need help desperately

        1. You may be American by birth, but not in spirit. The Constitution is LIBERAL. The endowment of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is LIBERAL.

          An insurrection in support of the Orange Fraud seeking to overturn a valid election is TREASON.

          1. Only a fucking idiot would think the election was valid. Everyone already knows you are dumber than shit, applecynic. No need to prove it multiple times a day.

            The only thing treasonous are the libturds

            1. Applecynic, you have proven yourself far too stupid to learn, I won’t waste my time.

              Get help, you are a seriously disturbed idiot

    1. If they did split it up, the same thing would happen as after splitting up the Bell System and Standard Oil—after a brief period of intense competition, the two or three most effective competitors would drive the others out of the market and competition would end. It would happen much faster with FaceBook since the Baby Bells and SO successors were initially given separate geographic operating areas.

      I can’t see most FaceBook users being pleased at being told they had to go back to MySpace.

  2. The longer we see social media have a hold on our children and young adults, the more convinced I am that it is indeed a cancer eating us up from the inside. Mature adults can shut if off, teens cannot. Adults understand life exists outside of social media, teens and young adults do not.

    Couple this with the outrageous censorship going on throughout these networks, and you have a train wreck rolling through our country. What started as a way to meet up with friends you forgot at college has turned into a platform to divide you and your former friends.

    Sadly, like so much of what is going on in our country, many Americans are hyper focused on ancillary issues and don’t even see the train coming down the track.

  3. Yeah, but…if the wrench can’t tighten the nut, donuts won’t be served and all basset hounds will have to wear masks to prevent taxation. Maybe that’s were we’re headed, or where we are?

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