The Economic Standard: Facebook is Back in Court

In December 2020, the FTC filed an antitrust suit against the tech giant, alleging that Facebook had engaged in anti-competitive behavior and acquired Instagram and WhatsApp to suppress competitive threats. The FTC’s original case against Facebook coincided with a similar antitrust suit from 48 attorney’s general seeking to have the tech giant broken up for […]

The FTC’s Case Against Facebook Explained

Background: Since its creation in 2004, Facebook has become the premier social media networking site with an estimated 200 million users in the United States. As it has grown, antitrust enforcers at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division have turned their attention to reigning in the company’s potential influence. In […]

FTC and the States Square Off Against Facebook

Following a year of active antitrust suits that has seen the Department of Justice sue Google and Visa, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and 48 states have turned their attention to Facebook, alleging the company “willfully maintained its monopoly power through its course of anticompetitive acquisitions” of WhatsApp and Instagram. Despite the FTC’s present objections, […]

Would Breaking Up Big Tech Help or Harm Consumers?

Recent reporting by Politico suggests the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) “is likely to sue Facebook for antitrust violations.” While the exact nature of the allegations against Facebook is unknown, it is widely believed the FTC will claim Facebook “unfairly stifled competition as it snapped up smaller rivals and maintained a stranglehold on its user’s data.” […]

The Economic Standard: Debunking “Big is Bad” — The Economics of Big Tech

Though calls to break up “Big Tech” — Amazon, Apple, Google, and Facebook — have intensified over the last few years, the logic behind the movement is as tenuous as ever. From the perspective of consumer welfare, the standard that has guided competition policy in the U.S. for nearly half a century, there’s good reason to think […]

Posturing on Consumer Privacy

Facebook is suffering from regular beatdowns in TV, print and in internet media. Public irritation with Facebook’s loose securing of consumer personal data has been festering for years. Despite having more newly critical friends than he needs, Mark Zuckerberg chose to refresh Facebook’s black eye by pushing back against Tim Cook’s “I wouldn’t be in […]

Privacy with Exceptions: FBI and Facebook

You selected the right “friends,” lovingly noted your family members and posted cherished pictures that they will like.  You listed influencers in your life; authors, music, and video.  You chose Facebook settings to share in your circle of friends and exclude others.  Sometimes you add friends or unfriend someone who became a pest.  Facebook’s under […]

Participation and Privacy in Social Media

In 2004, my job included scanning for interesting sites on the internet.  I viewed clips on Myspace, Bebo and YouTube, few of which were limited to official “friends.”   Some were amusing, a few were skilled performances of music, but most were boring.  Facebook was limited to college students and I refused to fake eligibility Today, […]

Some Limits of Privacy on Facebook

I had a bad feeling about my privacy status on Facebook and it took about an hour to find the privacy setting crevasses, wriggle in, adjust settings, delete some innocent but taggable pictures, and block some advertisers and games that had wedged into my news feed. My privacy is now somewhat better.  But there are […]