Federal Trade Commission Unveils Data Backing Facebook Monopoly Case

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The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) made public for the first time the data it's using to bolster its case that Facebook has monopoly power over social networking. From September 2012 through December 2020, Facebook’s share of time spent by users of social media apps in the US has averaged 92 percent per month, according to a filing in federal court in Washington. The combined shares of other apps, including Snapchat, Google+, MeWe and Friendster, didn’t exceed 18 percent in any month during that period. From September 2016 through December 2020, Facebook’s share of daily average users among social networking apps averaged 80 percent per month for smartphones, 86 percent per month in tablets, and 98 percent per month for desktop computers. The dismissal of the FTC's initial antitrust suit against Facebook by a federal judge in June 2021 underscored the difficulty of defining the contours of the social networking market. This data may not be enough to satisfy US District Judge James Boasberg, who wrote in his dismissal that information on daily and monthly average users might “significantly overstate or understate any one firm’s market share depending on the various proportions of users who have accounts on multiple services.” He also said total time spent on the platform may be a metric of “limited utility.”

US Antitrust Cops Unveil Data Backing Facebook Monopoly Case