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Meta uses antitrust lawsuit to ask hundreds of competitors for sensitive data, accused of ulterior motives

  • joy
  • 2022-09-13 23:38:34
  • 144 read
  in order to defend against the US government's antitrust lawsuit, Meta, the parent company of Facebook, as...

  in order to defend against the US government's antitrust lawsuit, Meta, the parent company of Facebook, asked hundreds of competitors to provide it with some confidential information, but it was criticized by competitors.

  In December 2020, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sued Meta, accusing Meta of violating antitrust laws by acquiring photo-sharing site Instagram and instant messaging app WhatsApp. The case may not go to trial until 2024 at the earliest, but both sides are currently gathering evidence for it.

  So far, Meta has subpoenaed 132 companies for its documents, including Snap and Clubhouse, among others. In addition, Meta said it may seek information from more than 100 companies in the future.

  Meta said it needed information from competitors to counter the FTC's argument that Meta had a monopoly on the social networking market.

  Undoubtedly, the subpoenas sparked a series of legal challenges from Meta's competitors. They accused Meta of using the antitrust lawsuit as an excuse to mine its confidential data. Among them, Snap said in a court document: "Meta's data request should be withdrawn because it is too broad and too onerous. The documents Meta requested cover almost every department of Snap, every product, and Almost any business."

  Kellie Lerner, an antitrust litigator at law firm Robins Kaplan LLP, who was not involved in the lawsuit, also said the information Meta was asking for included a wealth of sensitive information about competitors. "I think Meta is asking for more information than it should," Lerner said.

  In addition, image social network Pinterest and professional social network LinkedIn (LinkedIn) have also expressed concerns about the "highly intrusive" request, saying Meta is mainly to obtain "the most competitive sensitive documents".

  Other companies subpoenaed by Meta include Match, Twitter, Reddit and Oracle, the parent company of dating platform Tinder.

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