Is Facebook a Monopoly?

“But with that incredible growth came new problems.” –Ben Mezrich, The Accidental Billionaires, Ch. 22. Does Facebook face any real competition these days? ConnectU is dead. LinkedIn and Twitter are not even close (see this chart via AdWeek). Here are some startling statistics for your edification: the number of active Facebook users surpassed one billion in 2012, and there are now 1.49 billion active users on Facebook as of June 30, 2015. (Active users are those which have logged into Facebook during the last 30 days.) In short, Facebook is the most popular social network in the world by far. So, given the massive amounts of data Facebook collects from its users, should Facebook be treated as a “monopoly” in the legal sense, or should our antitrust regulators leave Facebook alone? What about Facebook’s acquisition of the popular instant-messaging service WhatsApp? Does this acquisition reduce or harm Internet competition in the short or long run?

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