ftc online dating case

ftc online dating case

Ftc online dating case

ftc online dating case

These people just know that Facebook is a monopolist using its market power anticompetitively, and so see the task of their agencies to define the market to first prove that Facebook meets the conditions necessary for antitrust action against them.

ftc online dating case

Back in late June, the U. Now, this market definition is obviously ridiculous as a matter of economics, as anyone who has opened their phone and interchangeably flicked through social media apps will attest. To secure that time, Facebook actually incorporates many of the features of other sites or apps it supposedly does not compete with.

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It has its own messaging service. Colleagues and acquaintances connect through it. Groups on Facebook allow people to discuss issues in their local community or neighborhood. And, yes, people upload videos and other content too.


At best, you could say Facebook, on the user side, is like a conglomerate, competing for our time in all these little user subsectors against more specialist sites. Pretending instead though that Facebook operates in a very siloed product market amounts to shoe-horning the facts to suggest the company only faces one real competitor: Snapchat.

On the one hand, the FTC wants to set the market definition extremely narrowly like this to suggest that Facebook dominates.

ftc online dating case

The way of squaring that circle is to suggest that these companies, if not acquired, had the potential to meaningfully compete with Facebook's core offer, due to their growing user base or certain features of their business. The FTC is trying to have it both ways.

ftc online dating case

In reality, the social media sector is dynamic and experimental. A range of other sites are springing up with different privacy offerings, while a lot of the other sites or apps the FTC says don't compete with Facebook test out services that clearly do overlap with Facebook and Instagram. Now many economists would just reject this whole framing.

ftc online dating case

The FTC seems not to have done that in this case. The meaningful market with prices! But even here, the FTC has been rather arbitrary in defining the relevant market.

In order to claim Facebook is overwhelmingly dominant, the FTC says "social advertising" is distinct from "display advertising," "search advertising," or "offline advertising. Our new trustbusters talk a lot about major companies manipulating markets. Under new leadership, the FTC are proving masters in manipulating market definitions. Stay Connected to Cato Sign up for the newsletter to receive periodic updates on Cato research, events, and publications. Your Email Address.]

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