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Technology FTC may block Facebook's integration plans for WhatsApp and Instagram

15:25  13 december  2019
15:25  13 december  2019 Source:   engadget.com

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Facebook owns a lot of popular apps, including WhatsApp and Instagram , and we heard earlier this year the social network plans on finding a way And if the FTC wants this to move forward, than three of its five commissioners to vote in favor. This is how Mark Zuckerberg’ s plans were initially described

Facebook plans to integrate its messaging services on Instagram , WhatsApp and Facebook Integrating the messaging parts might simplify Facebook ' s work. It wouldn't need to develop Mr Zuckerberg is reportedly pushing the integration plan to make its trinity of services more useful and

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is reportedly weighing an injunction against Facebook to stop it from integrating WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger into its own services, according to the New York Times and Wall Street Journal. The news follows reports that the the FTC has been investigating Facebook as part of an antitrust investigation, on the grounds that it's policies are anticompetitive.

  FTC may block Facebook's integration plans for WhatsApp and Instagram

The commission started its investigation after Facebook announced that it would unify the technical underpinnings of WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook. That would allow its 2.7 billion users to send private, encrypted messages from one app that could be received on another. "We're building a foundation for social communication aligned with the direction people increasingly care about: messaging each other privately," he said at the time.

Facebook's crisis response tools get extended to WhatsApp

  Facebook's crisis response tools get extended to WhatsApp Earlier this week, Facebook extended part of the platform's "Crisis Response" widget to messaging service WhatsApp.Earlier this week, the social networking giant extended part of the platform's "Crisis Response" widget to WhatsApp. The move would mean people in areas with poor connectivity can alert friends and family about what's happening through WhatsApp, which is widely used in countries like India and Brazil.

Facebook and the FTC declined to comment. Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg announced plans in March to integrate Facebook ' s messaging services as Zuckerberg' s integration strategy reflects the importance of Instagram and WhatsApp as Facebook ' s flagship app struggles to attract new young

The FTC may seek an injunction in order to prevent Facebook from tightly integrating features Word of Facebook ’ s plan to merge chat features across Messenger, Instagram , and WhatsApp Broadly speaking, the planned integration would enable users from one of Facebook ’ s properties to

The FTC's primary concern is that Facebook's acquisition of rival apps like Instagram has reduced social networking competition. The commission believes that if Facebook tightly integrated those apps into its own infrastructure, it would become much more difficult to break up.

As of last year, Facebook owned around 66 percent of the global social media market, compared to 11 percent each for Pinterest and Twitter. In 2018, the company earned a net profit of $22.1 billion.

Facebook disclosed the FTC investigation last summer. The US Justice Department, Congress and various states are also looking into potential anticompetitive behavior. As a consequence, Facebook reportedly scrapped the idea of buying the Houseparty chat app.

FTC may seek injunction to prevent Facebook from merging chat features across Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp

  FTC may seek injunction to prevent Facebook from merging chat features across Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp The FTC may seek an injunction in order to prevent Facebook from tightly integrating features across its suite of messaging services. The potential injunction, The Wall Street Journal notes, arises out of fear that once the integration is complete, breaking up Facebook into disparate entities would become difficult, if not impossible. Word of Facebook's plan to merge chat features across Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp first surfaced earlier this year and is reportedly being championed by Mark Zuckerberg. Broadly speaking, the planned integration would enable users from one of Facebook’s properties to chat with users from any of the company’s other properties.

The integration plan raises privacy questions because of how users’ data may be shared between services. WhatsApp currently requires only a phone number when new users sign up. Unifying the infrastructure for WhatsApp , Instagram and Facebook Messenger is technically challenging.

An FTC injunction could further bar Facebook from enforcing its unification policies which the regulators might look to unwind as part of a future breakup Officials are also concerned that Facebook ’ s plans to further integrate its platforms — WhatsApp , Instagram , and Messenger — could make it harder

Facebook has jumped from one controversy to another, particularly with Cambridge Analytica and other privacy scandals. Critics have called for its breakup by unraveling the Instagram and WhatsApp acquisitions that bolstered its monopoly. As of last year, Facebook owned around 66 percent of the global social media market, compared to 11 percent each for Pinterest and Twitter. In 2018, the company earned a net profit of $22.1 billion.

It could be difficult for the FTC get an injunction, let alone break apart Facebook's apps. First, it would have to prove in court that Facebook had violated antitrust laws or was about to. Then, a majority of FTC commissioners would need to approve any breakup in a formal vote. However, the commission has reportedly not made a final decision about the injunction.

NYT

Facebook has postponed ruining WhatsApp .
In a completely unexpected move, Facebook decided not to ruin WhatsApp for the time being. Facebook warned users back in the fall of 2018 that ads would be deployed inside WhatsApp, prompting some people to worry about the relationship between ads and end-to-end encryption. Facebook then reminded us, a few months later, that ads will start appearing in the popular chat app in 2020. But it turns out that Facebook has completely abandoned the idea of deploying advertising inside your chats for the time being.

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