Within two months, another Facebook insider goes public and demands the destruction of the group. This time it is the co-founder who warns against market power and influence of the giant.
Chris Hughes and Mark Zuckerberg are old companions. In the mid-2000s, they built up the social network Facebook as Harvard students. Zuckerberg has now risen to CEO, Hughes may still call itself co-founder. Ironically, he makes a strong commitment to smash the group. The online network must be forced to reject the photo platform Instagram and the chat service WhatsApp again, writes Hughes in a guest post for the „New York Times“.
Facebook has secured a monopoly position, thanks in part to the acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp, Hughes argued, leaving the company more than a decade ago. „Even if people want to leave Facebook, they have no real alternative,“ he wrote.
Facebook had bought Instagram for about $ 1 billion in 2012 and WhatsApp two years later for about $ 22 billion. It was a mistake of the US competition authority FTC to allow these deals, so Hughes. The dominance of Facebook prevents new competition in the industry.
The ex-mentor as the sharpest critic
Within a very short time, a second former Zuckerberg partner expects it to be Facebook. Back in March, long-time mentor to Group CEO Roger McNamee demanded the smashing of the tech giants in Silicon Valley at the „South by Southwest“ technology fair. The longtime Facebook investor is above all the unregulated data trade a thorn in the side.
The market power of Internet companies has recently become increasingly a topic in US politics. For example, Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren, in her bid for the presidency in 2020, has taken up the cause of unbundling corporations.
Zuckerberg had recently announced that Facebook would focus more on private and encrypted communications that even the online network could not read. It will also create a common technical infrastructure for WhatsApp, Facebook’s second chat service messenger and Instagram’s messaging feature. Hughes agreed that this would make it harder to break up, so it was important to act quickly.