Is Facebook indeed executing an antitrust conduct?
By Natalia Vera Matiz, Vera Abogados
A few weeks ago, we all wake up with the notice of the legal suit against Facebook from 12 states and the federal government of the United States for allegedly breaking the antitrust law by acquiring the apps of Instagram and WhatsApp. But why is this a problem for the administrative wing of North America?
Let’s begin by saying that the antitrust law has almost by nature two different branches. One of them aims to protect the user or consumer, and the other one has the object to protect the companies. By the first one, the costumer can choose the service or product that he wants from the variety offered by the the market. By the second, the companies can compete in equal conditions between each other, which constitutes an essential core for the market.
The most notable arguments for the lawsuit ar that “Facebook denies the costumers the benefits of the competition” (1) and that Facebook uses its power in order to control competitors. In other words, the lawsuit argues that Facebook impacts in the two essential branches of the anticompetitive law.
The problem not only affects the United States. Facebook is a key tech and social player in an important part of the world. If in the United States the company seems to be eating its competitors, the situation is more worrisome in Colombia, where there are few tech companies in place and most of them in development, helpless to compete with Facebook.
Therefore, it’s time to reconsider in which direction are we going and what is going to happen with the consumers and the developers of software around the world.
We hope that this is the beginning for a new and better environment for innovation.
(1) IAN CONNER. Director of the Bureau of Competition of FTC. Taken of the reportage of CNN business written by BRIAN FUG. “Facebook must be broken up, the US government says in a groundbreaking lawsuit”; December 10 of 2020.