An anonymous reader shares the message: A few years after Facebook owner Meta acquired WhatsApp and Instagram, the Federal Trade Commission filed an antitrust lawsuit alleging that the acquisitions made Meta a monopoly. As a titan that owns a vast wealth of smaller companies, the FTC said Meta began buying up or burying competitors in an effort that allegedly prevented competitors from offering better products to consumers. The FTC argues that in this extraordinary role, Meta has stopped evolving consumer preferences for features such as broader privacy options and stronger data protections to become the norm. The only solution the FTC saw? Ask a federal court to help them break up Meta and fix the harm the FTC didn’t foresee when it originally approved the Meta acquisition. To find out whether Meta actually had monopoly power, Meta and the FTC sued more than 100 of Meta’s competitors each. Both hope to establish in court exactly how dominant Meta is in the market and how negatively it affects its competitors.

After 132 subpoenas so far, Meta is on a mission to defend itself, arguing that it needs to collect confidential trade secrets from its biggest competitors – not to use that knowledge and increase its market share, but to demonstrate in court , that other companies are able to compete with Meta. Meta wants that experience for its competitors so badly, it says it plans to sue more than 100 additional competitors if necessary to beat the FTC’s claims, according to court filings. Meta asks its competitors for a wide range of information, from their most effective features to the names of their biggest advertisers. He wants to see all the business receipts, which for his competitors seems to be turning the antitrust litigation into a business opportunity for Meta to learn exactly how other companies are attracting users, scaling products and measuring success. Already named competitors include Twitter, TikTok owner ByteDance, Reddit, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Snap. However, additional requests may be made in the coming years before the opening for both parties ends on January 5, 2024.

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