The Antitrust Case Against Facebook
Berkeley Business Law Journal Vol. 16, Issue 1, Forthcoming
63 Pages Posted: 7 Feb 2019 Last revised: 19 Jan 2021
Date Written: September 10, 2018
The Facebook, Inc. (“Facebook”) social network, this era’s new communications service, plays an important role in the lives of 2+ billion people across the world. Though the market was highly competitive in the beginning, it has since consolidated in Facebook’s favor. Today, using Facebook means to accept a product linked to broad-scale commercial surveillance — a paradox in a democracy. This Paper argues that Facebook’s ability to extract this qualitative exchange from consumers is merely this titan’s form of monopoly rents. The history of early competition, Facebook’s market entry, and Facebook’s subsequent rise tells the story of Facebook’s monopoly power. However, the history which elucidates this firm’s dominance also presents a story of anticompetitive conduct. Facebook’s pattern of false statements and misleading conduct induced consumers to trust and choose Facebook, to the detriment of market competitors and consumers' own welfare.
Keywords: antitrust, competition law, two-sided platforms, two-sided markets, facebook, big tech, anticompetitive, consumer welfare, privacy, democracy, commercial surveillance, surveillance, monopoly power, collusion, sherman act, antitrust
JEL Classification: K21, L40, L41, L42, L44, D22, D42, D61
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation