Facebook Says F.T.C. Has Opened Formal Antitrust Investigation
Over the past 10 days alone, Facebook, Google, Amazon and Apple have all faced grilling from Congress and questions from regulators. Last week, executives from the companies attended a House hearing on antitrust matters. Google also appeared at a separate hearing on censorship and Facebook testified on Capitol Hill about a new cryptocurrency initiative. This week, the Justice Department said it would start an antitrust review into how internet giants had amassed market power and whether they had acted to reduce competition.
“The online technology industry and our company have received increased regulatory scrutiny in the past quarter,” Facebook said in a statement on Wednesday.
Earlier in the day, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, said he supported the privacy settlement with the F.T.C.
“We’re going to change the way that we operate, across the whole company. From the leadership down, to the ground up,” he told employees in a meeting at the company’s headquarters in Silicon Valley. “If we don’t, then we’re going to be held accountable for it.”
A spokeswoman for the F.T.C. confirmed the antitrust investigation and declined to comment further.
Andrew I. Gavil, a law professor at Howard University, said the F.T.C.’s investigation represented a commitment of staff and agency resources. “It also suggests there is reason to believe there is anticompetitive behavior to look at,” he said.