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FTC conducting another Facebook investigation for antitrust violations

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Yesterday Facebook revealed its quarterly earnings (PDF) for Q2 of 2019, and while the tech giant had a strong quarter with revenue rising by 28 percent to $16.9 billion year-on-year, a looming antitrust investigation from the Federal Trade Commission has put a damper on the firm’s results.

Facebook confirmed the FTC investigation yesterday too, with it being a second such investigation that the firm will undergo. The first wrapped up recently, with the company having to pay a $5 billion fine due to its privacy practices.

The fine is the largest of its kind for a tech company, with it adding that Facebook must submit specific products and services to third-party review. This is good to hear, especially as it could prove quite easy for a firm the size of Facebook to incur as many antitrust-related fines as it wishes, and not having any sort of repercussions for its actions.

With the FTC and US Department of Justice now taking a closer look at the behaviour of some of the tech industry’s biggest players, such as Facebook, Google and Amazon, the aim of both regulatory bodies is to ensure that the competitiveness of the marketplace is not by the actions of a handful of larger organisations.

Regarding the FTC’s second antitrust investigation, the commission has not outlined a specific date or window for when its enquiry will be completed. If found to have violated, the number of fines that Facebook would pay in 2019 will double.

Following that it remains to be seen if the United States government will take further action for repeat offenders.

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Robin-Leigh Chetty

When he's not reviewing the latest smartphones, Robin-Leigh is writing about everything tech-related from IoT and smart cities, to 5G and cloud computing. He's also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games.