Facebook Outage Shows Risks of Its Monopoly, Ocasio-Cortez Says
(Bloomberg) -- Facebook Inc.’s massive outage Monday was a reminder of its monopoly over communications and other services around the world, and it was the latest indicator that the company should be broken up, U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said on Twitter.
The Federal Trade Commission has sued Facebook, alleging that the company engaged in an anticompetitive strategy of buying companies, including the photo-sharing service Instagram and the messaging platform WhatsApp, to neutralize them as potential competitors. The FTC initially approved both deals but now says they should be unwound.
“If Facebook’s monopolistic behavior was checked back when it should’ve been (perhaps around the time it started acquiring competitors like Instagram), the continents of people who depend on WhatsApp & IG for either communication or commerce would be fine right now,” Ocasio-Cortez, a Democrat from New York, tweeted. “Break them up.”
Menlo Park, California-based Facebook was sidelined for several hours by a major outage that left services inaccessible to many of its 2.7 billion global users. The shutdown affected countries around the globe, including in Latin America, where many people rely heavily on WhatsApp for communications.
“It’s almost as if Facebook’s monopolistic mission to either own, copy, or destroy any competing platform has incredibly destructive effects on free society and democracy,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote. “WhatsApp wasn’t created by Facebook. It was an independent success. FB got scared & bought it.”
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