Reasons for Favoring Facebook over the FTC
In our antitrust survey, we presented participants with a summary of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) case against Facebook. This lawsuit centers on allegations of unfair competition, specifically surrounding Facebook’s acquisitions of WhatsApp and Instagram. We asked survey respondents questions about the strength of the FTC’s case, who they’d favor, and why they would favor that party. Below are some participants’ reasons for favoring Facebook over the FTC.
The FTC Approved the Instagram & WhatsApp Acquisitions
The fact that Facebook’s acquisitions were assessed by the FTC in previous years led many participants to think that the acquisitions did not violate laws because if they did, the FTC would not have approved them.
The FTC Can't Just Change Its Mind About Approving the Purchases It Has Already Approved.
Other participants felt that even if Facebook was violating antitrust laws, the FTC had an opportunity to stop them. Instead the FTC decided to approve Facebook’s purchases of Whatsapp and Instagram.
Facebook Made Smart Business Decisions
Many of the participants approved of Facebook’s actions because they were part of a winning business strategy. Their reasons for favoring Facebook over the FTC were linked to their opinion that Facebook did nothing wrong.
Facebook Did Not Do Anything Illegal
Participants who ended up favoring Facebook over the FTC felt that Facebook’s actions were legal and therefore should not be undone by the FTC lawsuit.
Instagram and WhatsApp Willingly Sold Their Companies
Some participants saw the case through the lens of bullying. They didn’t believe Facebook bullied the companies into selling. They felt the companies sold because they wanted the money Facebook was willing to pay.