Antitrust

07/23/2020

NetChoice Releases Antitrust Report Debunking the Antitrust Case Against Facebook

NetChoice
Carl Szabo Vice President and General Counsel

Washington, D.C.– Today, NetChoice, a trade association fighting for free expression and free enterprise online, released a new report entitled “Debunking the ‘Big-is-Bad’ Bogeyman–How Facebook Benefits Consumers.” The report makes clear that Facebook is not a monopoly and that it faces intense competition in both the social media and digital advertising markets.

“Anti-tech sentiments have grown so powerful that some are willing to say or do whatever it takes to land a blow. Unfortunately, anti-tech attacks include twisting U.S. antitrust laws and ignoring objective evidence just to attack Facebook,” said Carl Szabo, Vice President and General Counsel at NetChoice.

“Facebook’s critics can claim it’s a monopoly all they want, but the facts and law say otherwise,” continued Szabo. “Because Facebook is a world leader in social media and digital advertising, breaking it up would undermine the position of American tech globally while also harming consumers here in the United States.”

“Quite simply, our report shows that there is no antitrust case against Facebook. Instead, Facebook has benefited users, advertisers, and publishers time and time again. ”

According to the NetChoice report:

  • Facebook is neither a monopoly nor a “near-monopoly”: it faces fierce competition in both the social media market and the digital advertising market. 
    • Its social media competitors include well-known platforms like YouTube, Snapchat, Twitter, and Pinterest, as well as new ones like Parler and TikTok.
    • Its digital advertising competitors include many of those listed above, as well as Google, Amazon, AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, and the Rubicon Project.
  • Although Facebook remains a popular social media platform in the U.S., recent trends and data show it faces growing competition.
    • Nearly half of all young Americans don’t use Facebook at all, which underscores that Facebook is neither a “must-have” platform nor dominant enough to prevent competition. Young Americans are flocking to Facebook’s competitors like  Snapchat and TikTok.
    • User time spent on Facebook has declined by about 20% since 2015. This trend holds true even when Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp are combined.
  • Facebook is not a monopoly, nor has it engaged in anticompetitive conduct.
    • For example, Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram improved the platform’s quality benefitting consumers: it went from around 30 million users to over a billion and transformed from a photo-sharing app into a social media platform.

 

The full report can be found here.

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