FTC might put the brakes on Facebook's plans to merge messaging apps

Andrew Cummings
December 14, 2019

The US Federal Officials may hamper the process as they are seeking considerable action against Facebook over antitrust concerns over products interaction in the backend, cites a report in the Wall Street Journal.

The word is that Facebook is trying to integrate its messaging services - Messenger, WhatsApp, Instagram - with each other so that users don't have to switch between apps when interacting with friends. The move could get in the way of Facebook's big plans to tie its messaging services together-if the story pans out.

People familiar with the matter have revealed that if the injunction materializes, the Federal Trade Commission will focus on the company's policies regarding how it integrates its apps and allows them to work with potential rivals. The Wall Street Journal said the FTC could file for an injunction to halt the integration as early as January. Reached by Fast Company, the FTC declined to comment on the report, and Facebook has not yet responded to a request for comment.

Apart from antitrust concerns, Facebook and other tech giants are facing criticism over privacy lapses, how they handle vast quantities of consumer data, and accusations of bias in the polarized USA political environment. What's more, any attempt to break up Facebook, and for instance spin off Instagram into a separate company, would also be a lot harder.

The properties are already integrated to some degree, with users able to link their accounts and advertisers able to use one system to place ads across different platforms.

An FTC injunction could further bar Facebook from enforcing its unification policies which the regulators might look to unwind as part of a future breakup of the company.

On the other hand, Facebook has been anxious about the Federal Trade Commission's proceedings against its "interoperability" rules.

Other reports by iNewsToday