In a New York Times opinion piece, Facebook co-founder and Mark Zuckerberg’s former college roommate Chris Hughes advised US law makes to segregate Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. But this would be very difficult, due to antitrust law the government has to take Facebook to the Supreme Court and win. This is a very rare case, but not exception, AT&T and standard oil are two biggest examples. DNC presidential nominee Senator Elizabeth Warren pledge to break up big tech companies.
This didn’t go down well with Facebook who rejected the proposal. Hughes has previously tried to undo the Facebook purchase of Instagram and WhatsApp. Hughes argument stands from the point that Facebook has too much control over speech and it was used by Russia to manipulate US election. However, a split would be highly impossible as it is a free service and it is in no shape or form affecting the quality or the price. The case has a structural fault in it.
Although there has been similar cases but the government wanted to break up Microsoft in 2000. They won a preliminary victory but was reversed on appeal, and Microsoft remained intact. Smaller companies have lost such cases to the Justice Department in recent years.
The only way to control Facebook is via privacy laws. These legislations will put a limit to what companies like Facebook can collect, and it will make them a less prosperous asset for investors. But we doubt it will ever happen as tech companies are one of the biggest US political donors. Amazon, Facebook, and Google all spent At least $12 million to lobby in 2018.
Facebook is a dominant tech company which has a huge global reach with more than 1.5 billion daily users and more than 37,000 employees by the end of March.