by Karl Denninger, Market Ticker:
(Reuters) – Facebook Inc (FB.O) gave some companies, including Netflix (NFLX.O) and Airbnb, preferential access to user data in 2015 as it limited services for most others, according to company emails and presentations released by a British lawmaker.
Using a dominant market position (which Facebook has in online, social-media advertising) in concert with others with the intent or outcome of limiting competition is a felony under 15 USC Chapter 1.
Every person who shall monopolize, or attempt to monopolize, or combine or conspire with any other person or persons, to monopolize any part of the trade or commerce among the several States, or with foreign nations, shall be deemed guilty of a felony, and, on conviction thereof, shall be punished by fine not exceeding $100,000,000 if a corporation, or, if any other person, $1,000,000, or by imprisonment not exceeding 10 years, or by both said punishments, in the discretion of the court.
It is undisputed that preferential access to user data, granted to some firms and not others in similar lines of business, which appears to have been intentional on the part of Facebook and undertaken with the knowledge of and at direction by Zuckerberg himself, appears to run afoul of this law.
Dating app Badoo and Lyft were among the other companies ‘whitelisted’ for access to data about users’ friends, the documents here showed.
Collins also alleged that Facebook took aggressive positions against competitor apps by denying them access to any user data.
Assuming these allegations are proved as factual this must be brought forward and adjudicated. There is simply no excuse for not doing so and every executive at Facesucker with knowledge and involvement must face the music.
At the point you obtain market power, which Facebook had established well before this date, this sort of preferential activity undertaken to assist one party while harming another for their and your mutual beneift is simply not permitted under US Federal Law — period.