Instagram’s Facebook will say the government’s WhatsApp, ‘complete non -ways’



Government attempts to break Facebook Inc.

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  Instagram and WhatsApp will defy established law, cost billions of dollars and harm consumers, according to a paper the company's lawyers have prepared in the wake of growing antitrust legal threats.</p><div> <p>A 14-page document created by lawyers at Sidley Austin LLP and reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, Facebook provides a preview of the defense of social-media giants as antitrust enforcers and members of Congress Facebook's power and past competitive behavior Let's continue investigating.  .  Alphabets from other technology companies such as Alphabet<span class="company-name-type"> Of inc</span>


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  Are also running.




  The House Antitrust Subcommittee is expected to release the findings of its investigation into Facebook and other companies this month. 





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  Highlighting legal citations and technical language, legal documents and contradictory grounds offer a window into how Facebook can defend itself, reflecting the spirit of its lawyers that the split of WhatsApp or Instagram Any attempt to force will be fought.  Both the public square and the court room.









  Facebook's acquisition of Instagram in 2012 and WhatsApp in 2014 were investigated by the Federal Trade Commission, which closed its review without issuing an objection.  The company made large investments to promote growth on those platforms and they now share many operations that are integrated.  In the paper, Facebook says that it would be nearly impossible to execute the deal, forcing the company to spend billions of dollars, maintaining separate systems, undermining security and harming users' experience.




  "A 'breakup' of Facebook is thus a complete nonstarter," the paper declares.




  Columbia University law professor, technical critic and author Tim Wu said Facebook's contention that the previous government should limit existing action on the takeover is "surprisingly weak".  He said an anti-government case against the company would rely on the argument that Facebook made serial acquisitions to reduce competition, a question that was not considered when the Federal Trade Commission originally opposed the Instagram and WhatsApp deals. Not an option, he said.




  He said, "There can be no decision on a merger.  The FTC's review of both acquisitions, saying that it had reserved the right to reissue deals at a later time.




  Facebook's claim about the difficulty of a possible breakup would also be unlikely to carry legal weight.  "There's no 'it's too hard' defense," Mr Wu said.





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      <figure class="&#10;        media-object-image&#10;        enlarge-image&#10;        renoImageFormat-&#10;        img-inline&#10;        article__inset__image&#10;      " itemscope="" itemtype="http://schema.org/ImageObject"><div style="padding-bottom:66.66666666666666%;" data-mobile-ratio="66.66666666666666%" data-layout-ratio="66.66666666666666%" data-subtype="photo" class="image-container  responsive-media article__inset__image__image">
    <img srcset="https://images.wsj.net/im-240367?width=140&amp;size=1.5 140w,&#10;https://images.wsj.net/im-240367?width=540&amp;size=1.5 540w,&#10;https://images.wsj.net/im-240367?width=620&amp;size=1.5 620w,&#10;https://images.wsj.net/im-240367?width=700&amp;size=1.5 700w,&#10;https://images.wsj.net/im-240367?width=860&amp;size=1.5 860w,&#10;https://images.wsj.net/im-240367?width=1260&amp;size=1.5 1260w" sizes="(max-width: 140px) 100px,&#10;(max-width: 540px) 500px,&#10;(max-width: 620px) 580px,&#10;(max-width: 700px) 660px,&#10;(max-width: 860px) 820px,&#10;1260px" src="https://images.wsj.net/im-240367?width=620&amp;size=1.5" data-enlarge="https://images.wsj.net/im-240367?width=1260&amp;size=1.5" alt="" title="Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before a House subcommittee in July. "/></div>


  <figcaption class="wsj-article-caption article__inset__image__caption" itemprop="caption"><h4 class="wsj-article-caption-content">Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified before a House subcommittee in July. </h4>
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  The Journal reported last month that the FTC was preparing to file a possible complaint against Facebook, which is part of a broader wave of government investigations targeting Facebook, Apple, Amazon and Google.  Against the backdrop of concerns about Facebook's influence on politics, privacy, and regulation of speech, critics of the company have argued that major Facebook acquisitions in social media — including Instagram and WhatsApp — outperform illegally.




  Facebook declined to discuss the information in the memo.  The FTC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.




  This summer, the Antitrust Subcommittee published a 2012 email, in which Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg cited the difficulty of competing with Instagram to buy the photo-based social media company that had 30 million users at the time Or there were only 13 employees.





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  <p>"Zuckerberg wrote in an email," There are a limited number of different social mechanics to network effects and inventions around social products.  "Once someone wins over a specific mechanic, it is difficult to suppress them without doing anything different to the others."




  In another message, Mr. Zuckerberg acknowledged that an argument for buying Instagram would be to "neutralize a contestant" before reverting to a later email.




  When the emails were new to Congress and the public, they were not a surprise to antitrust enforcers who approved the merger, Facebook noted.




  Facebook's paper states, "The FTC reviewed those documents with a large amount of investigative records, and interviewed senior executives of companies."  The commission "voted 5-0 to allow companies to close their deal."




  The government says the company invested heavily to make the deals a success following the Instagram acquisition or the 2014 WhatsApp acquisition of Facebook.




  <strong>Write </strong>Jeff Horwitz at [email protected]




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