Facebook and competition

Chris White of the Daily Caller reports one former Facebook executive’s reaction to the federal government’s $5 billion fine for the social media giant.

Former Facebook security chief Alex Stamos said Wednesday that people are missing the most important element involved in holding the Silicon Valley company responsible for alleged privacy rights violations.

“The real threat to the tech giants is competition, not regulation, and everybody is missing what really happened today,” he told his Twitter followers. …

… “Facebook paid the FTC $5B for a letter that says ‘You never again have to create mechanisms that could facilitate competition,’” Stamos continued. He urged his former colleagues in March 2018 to purposely avoid collecting people’s data.

Facebook agreed to pay a record $5 billion and promised new privacy guarantees Wednesday to settle the FTC investigation. …

… Stamos noted that the settlement did not include one important word: competition.

“Facebook already has ~2.5B users. It has the world’s second largest ad network. It never again needs data from anybody else to make money or third parties to facilitate growth,” he said. “This order doesn’t include the word competition or include any balancing tests. It’s fantastic for FB.” …

… Republican Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley was … upset. “This is very disappointing. It does nothing to hold executives accountable. It utterly fails to penalize Facebook in any effective way,” he said in a Wednesday tweet. Hawley has been one of the chief lawmakers calling on the Justice Department to break up what he believes are big tech’s monopolistic ways.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...

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