The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) wants to take action against Facebook because the regulator is worried about the company’s competitive position, sources say to The Wall Street Journal. The regulator is specifically concerned about how the various Facebook apps work together.
Facebook plans to merge the WhatsApp and Messenger chat apps together. In this way, it should become possible for a Facebook user, for example, to be able to send a message to a WhatsApp user without a Facebook or Instagram account.
With the integration of chat services, Facebook wants to be able to compete better with other messaging services, such as text messaging, Apple’s iMessage and various Google apps, sources said to The New York Times at the start of 2019.
However, the US regulator is concerned about Facebook’s strong competitive position and is considering taking legal action to stop this integration, sources report in conversation with The Wall Street Journal.
According to the newspaper, there is also the fear that connecting the chat services to supervisors such as the FTC will make it harder to split up the company; an option that the regulator is considering, the FTC told The New York Times in August.
Facebook has been investigated by the regulator for several months. Among other things, this study looks at the competitive position of the company and whether the company has ‘bought away’ competition by taking over other companies.
Facebook and the FTC both did not want to respond to the newspaper’s message.