(Reuters) – The U.S. Federal Trade Commission is considering asking a judge to stop Facebook Inc’s (FB.(O) from moving forward with plans to integrate with WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger, subsidiaries and affiliates, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter.
FILE PHOTO: Facebook logo can be seen on a mobile phone, it is in this image on 2 December 2019 at the latest. (REUTERS photo/Johanna Geron
Facebook shares closed 2.7% lower, as a result of fears of a potential regulatory move could be a first step in the direction of the company, to sell to the apps of WhatsApp and Instagram, the fast-growing mergers & acquisitions.
Facebook plans to give users of its units to any instant messaging application, WhatsApp, the instant messaging feature in Instagram in order to communicate with each other, and the end-to-end encryption, which will be extended to the three services.
A source familiar with the matter said that the FTC has not asked for Facebook to spread to the inclusion, in a move that would normally lead up to a legal challenge. The Wall Street Journal said that the FTC could file an injunction to stop the integration as early as January.
Leaving aside anti-trust concerns, Facebook and other tech giants have faced criticism over privacy lapses, and how they are dealing with large amounts of consumer data, and that the allegations of bias in the polarized AMERICAN political scene.
Facebook and the FTC declined to comment.
Its Chief Executive, Mark Zuckerberg, announced plans in March to integrate with Facebook’s messaging services, as part of a proposed shift towards more private forms of social networking.
Zuckerberg’s inclusion strategy, which reflects the importance of Instagram and WhatsApp, as the Facebook’s flagship app, the struggle to attract new and younger users into the company’s most lucrative markets.
Instagram ads are driving much of Facebook’s revenue growth, as the company is slowly moving in the direction of the creation of money out of WhatsApp, which has increased the user base of 1.5 billion people as of its $22 billion purchase in 2014.
The features have already been integrated to a certain extent, the users are able to link their accounts and advertisers will be able to make use of a system for the placement of advertisements on a variety of platforms.
The encryption of the messages, systems to restrict Facebook’s ability to bring the content of the messages, but the company has not disclosed, or that the integration plan will be able to explore other forms of sharing of the data between the devices.
Facebook, the Alphabet, Inc. ‘ s (GOOGL.D) Google Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN.O) and Apple Inc (AAPL.(O) for all faces anti-trust investigation by the Department of Justice and the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee.
The COMMISSION was also well-known as for the research on Facebook, while groups of attorneys are looking to Facebook and Google+.
U.S. Attorney General William Barr said on Tuesday that he hoped the Ministry of Justice, the research, from the major tech platforms to be completed by next year.
Barr said the Justice Department’s review is not limited to, anti-trust, however, that the finding of anti-competitive behaviour has come to the fore.”
Report by Ayanti Berra, Bengaluru, Katie, Paul, in California, and Diane Bartz in Washington; Editing by shailesh Kuber, Leslie Adler and Richard Chang