The calls to break up big tech are growing, but Facebook may have formed the perfect defense.
The social media giant’s plans to integrate its Instagram and WhatsApp platforms could stop any potential break up of the company, Federal Trade Commission Chairman Joseph Simmons told the Financial Times. Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion in 2012 and WhatsApp for $19 billion in 2015.
“If they’re maintaining separate business structures and infrastructure, it’s much easier to have a divestiture in that circumstance than in where they’re completely enmeshed and all the eggs are scrambled,” he said.
Big tech has been under congressional scrutiny in recent months as members on both sides of the aisle have spoken out against the companies for having “too much power.”
“First time I’ve ever retweeted @ewarren But she’s right—Big Tech has way too much power to silence Free Speech,” Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, tweeted in March. “They shouldn’t be censoring Warren, or anybody else. A serious threat to our democracy.”
Simmons’ comments come after Facebook revealed last month the FTC was looking into its social media, digital advertising and mobile applications businesses. The same day, the Justice Department announced it was investigating Big Tech companies like Google, Amazon and Apple.