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Facebook sued by the FTC

FTC Sues Facebook for Illegal Monopolization

Lawsuits Filed by the FTC and the State Attorneys General Are Revisionist History

Facebook Accused of Breaking Antitrust Laws

  • The New York Times reports The Federal Trade Commission and more than 40 states have accused Facebook on of buying up its rivals to illegally squash competition
  • The lawsuit alleges that Facebook deployed anticompetitive tactics in order to buy or neutralize its rivals and shore up its market dominance, specifically with its purchase of photo-sharing app Instagram and the messaging service WhatsApp.
  • The states’ lawsuit quotes an email from CEO Mark Zuckerberg to Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom warning of the competitive threat Instagram faced if it turned down Facebook. “At some point soon, you’ll need to figure out how you actually want to work with us.”
  • They have called for Facebook to sell off WhatsApp and Instagram, and to seek approval for any future acquisitions
  • Facebook has responded to the lawsuit, dismissing it as “Revisionist History”
  • On their newsroom, they’ve said “The Federal Trade Commission and state attorneys general today attack two acquisitions that we made: Instagram in 2012 and WhatsApp in 2014. 
  • Facebook points out that The FTC conducted an in-depth “Second Request” of the Instagram transaction in 2012 before voting unanimously to clear it.
  • “Now, many years later, with seemingly no regard for settled law or the consequences to innovation and investment, the agency is saying it got it wrong and wants a do-over. In addition to being revisionist history, this is simply not how the antitrust laws are supposed to work.”
  • Looks like this will be a long, protracted legal fight 
  • “I had “Facebook sued for Antitrust” on my 2020 Bingo Card, although admittedly I also had it on my 2019 and 2018 Bingo card as well,” says Tess’ old boss. 
  • Facebook is the second big tech company to face a major legal challenge this year after the US Justice Department sued Google in October, accusing the tech company of abusing its position to maintain an illegal monopoly over search and search advertising.

So long Melbourne’s flying taxis, we barely knew ye

  • Uber has sold off its aviation division to start-up called Joby, just days after offloading its self-driving car business
  • It’s looking unlikely Uber will deliver on its promise to launch a fleet of 1000 commercial flying taxis in Melbourne from 2023.  
  • Last year Uber said Melbourne would be one of three cities to pilot Uber Air. 
  • Cara Waters from the SMH reports “A spokesperson for Joby, said the startup was still on track to launch flying taxis in 2023 but could not say whether Melbourne would be involved.” 
  • Peter, as a Melbournian are you disappointed? 

Twitch, YouTube and PornHub try and minimise the harm they induce

  • Anthony Agius points to three different services cleaning up their act today in his latest newsletter, The Sizzle 
  • Game streaming service Twitch will “ban lewd or repeated comments about anyone’s physical appearance and expressly prohibit the sending of unsolicited links to nudity” and “prohibit streamers from displaying the Confederate battle flag and take stricter action against those who target someone’s immigration status”. 
  • YouTube has decided that now is a good time to ban videos claiming the US election was stolen, whilst proclaiming it has removed over 8,000 channels spreading the lie. 
  • And after being rightfully shamed in the New York Times, PornHub decided child porn and non-consensual material is a bad thing. To try and stop it constantly appearing on their platform, they are limiting uploads to “only content partners and people within the Model Program”, with a “verification process so that any user can upload content upon successful completion of identification protocol” next year.

Netflix wants to help parents connect with their kids by explaining what they’re watching 

  • Netflix rolls out Kids Activity Report, a dashboard for parents and guardians to keep track of what their children are watching; 
  • The email includes data on the types of content being viewed, suggestions for other shows and movies, and more
  • The email is quite cute, and i love they’ve included colouring in pages 
  • It shows Penny’s favourite show is Cocomelon, and explains why those songs are in my head at all times.