Facebook isn’t a monopoly?

SuperMatt

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A single judge has decided that Facebook doesn’t have a monopoly in social media...


I thought this was a great quote showing how terribly out-of-touch with the modern world this judge is:

“The market-definition inquiry in this case is somewhat unusual because, unlike familiar consumer goods like tobacco or office supplies, there is no obvious or universally agreed-upon definition of just what a personal social networking service is,” Boasberg wrote.

There is a very obvious and universally-agreed on definition of social networking. This judge is just stuck in the 20th century when tobacco and/or office supplies actually mattered. With smoking at a tiny fraction of what it was a few decades ago, and people working from home more than ever, this dinosaur of a judge could not have picked more appropriate examples to demonstrate his misunderstanding of the 21st century if he tried.

What a joke. I’d say “OK Boomer” but he was born in the 1960s so there’s really no excuse for him being this ignorant. So because this judge cannot figure out what this newfangled ”social networking” thingamabob is… he rules that it can’t possibly be a monopoly. What a tool.
 

thekev

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I didn't read the attached documents, just the article, and that's not what it says.

In dismissing one of the lawsuits, U.S. District Judge James E. Boasberg said the Federal Trade Commission had failed to offer enough facts in its complaint to prove its assertion that Facebook controlled 60 percent of the social media market. He gave the agency 30 days to file an amended complaint with more details to bolster its case.

and


“It is almost as if the agency expects the Court to simply nod to the conventional wisdom that Facebook is a monopolist,” Boasberg wrote.

In the second lawsuit, the judge ruled that a group of state attorneys general had waited too long to challenge Facebook’s acquisition of the photo-sharing service Instagram and the messaging app WhatsApp, which the company bought in 2012 and 2014, respectively. That suit he dismissed outright, though he suggested in his opinion that the FTC may have the authority to file a similar case, if it chooses to do so.
 
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SuperMatt

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I didn't read the attached documents, just the article, and that's not what it says.



and
Yes, he said they failed to prove that Facebook is a monopoly. And I posted his justification above. He is comparing this to industries he (apparently) can easily understand: tobacco and office supplies. The fact of Facebook’s monopoly is as plain as the nose on his face, but he believes it hasn’t been proven to his satisfaction. I believe this is because the judge is not well-connected to modern reality.

The opinion highlighted the complexity of bringing antitrust cases against tech giants because the cases hinge on regulators proving a company monopolizes a market, yet there is intense debate about how to define what the market at stake is.
Really? There is intense debate? Among who? Again, this judge cannot seem to define in his mind what the market is. To anybody with eyes in their head, this isn’t very difficult.

And he cites a bunch of stuff like Apple Watch and the Social Network movie in the opinion too. Yes, keep trying to tell us you are “hip and with it” while completely missing what’s really going on in the world, boomer….
 

Chew Toy McCoy

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This situation is kind of weird to me because it comes down to personal choice. I'm not on Facebook because I choose not to be but I'm also not on any other social network either. Also out of choice, but I'm also unaware of a competitor to Facebook and I don't know what it could possibly offer that would make me want to join. The concept in general doesn't appeal to me.

Having said that, I don't see how making them do something like sell off Instagram would have any meaningful impact. It's not like the new owner will have some wildly different business model that would spur real competition and prevent the abuses monopolies get associated with. Price fixing certainly isn't on the table in this situation.
 
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SuperMatt

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This situation is kind of weird to me because it comes down to personal choice. I'm not on Facebook because I choose not to be but I'm also not on any other social network either. Also out of choice, but I'm also unaware of a competitor to Facebook and I don't know what it could possibly offer that would make me want to join. The concept in general doesn't appeal to me.

Having said that, I don't see how making them do something like sell off Instagram would have any meaningful impact. It's not like the new owner will have some wildly different business model that would spur real competition and prevent the abuses monopolies get associated with. Price fixing certainly isn't on the table in this situation.
The price fixing is on the advertisers. If you want to advertise on social media, what are your choices?
 

Chew Toy McCoy

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The price fixing is on the advertisers. If you want to advertise on social media, what are your choices?

That's a good point, but has it been proven or are they even trying to prove that Facebook is actively stopping competition? It seems more like they are wildly popular and some people just aren't happy with that...and it seems only when the company has a different political leaning to their own.
 
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SuperMatt

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That's a good point, but has it been proven or are they even trying to prove that Facebook is actively stopping competition? It seems more like they are wildly popular and some people just aren't happy with that...and it seems only when the company has a different political leaning to their own.
The average price per ad increased 30% in one year. That sounds like a marketplace without much competition.


Increased ad prices mean increased prices for the goods advertised, passed on to consumers.

Also, Facebook‘s predatory practices targeting news websites are well-documented.

 

Chew Toy McCoy

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The average price per ad increased 30% in one year. That sounds like a marketplace without much competition.


Increased ad prices mean increased prices for the goods advertised, passed on to consumers.

Also, Facebook‘s predatory practices targeting news websites are well-documented.



I admit that wasn't a side of the business I was considering and you make some good points.

But I also know far more people who aren't on Facebook than people who are, and we don't exactly have a completely advertisement free existence as much as I've tried (Big ups to YouTube Premium!). Is there any evidence ad prices are actually causing products to go up in price? Seems a little far fetched to me. Less profit seems like a more likely outcome.
 
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