Following news today that Facebook intends to more tightly integrate Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp, Congressman Ro Khanna (D-California) says the government was asleep at the switch when it failed to stop Facebook’s $1 billion acquisition of Instagram in 2012. The Congressman believes the merger constituted antitrust back then, as it does now. “This is why there should have been far more scrutiny during Facebook’s acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp which now clearly seem like horizontal mergers that should have triggered antitrust scrutiny,” Khanna tweeted Friday. According to a New York Times report, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp will continue to look mostly the same to users after the changes, but “their underlying messaging infrastructure will be unified.” The paper cited four people with knowledge of the plans. Facebook will very likely begin pooling data collected by the apps to form more complete pictures of consumers, which could increase the value of Facebook advertising. It also raises serious privacy concerns at a time when Facebook is already under the microscope after numerous privacy scandals. Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp are among the largest social platforms in the world. “Imagine how different the world would be if Facebook had to compete with Instagram… Read full this story
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