Mark Zuckerberg is the founder and CEO of Facebook and has been touring the courts for a few years on different issues. He has had to give explanations about the Cambridge Analytica case , uncovering a strong controversy, and now he is before the authorities of the United States Government investigating monopoly cases.
In 2012, Facebook had a large user base, but the truth is that its presence in the mobile market was rather testimonial . On the other hand, Foursquare, Pinterest or Instagram not only moved well in this area, but some were created expressly for use on mobile devices, smartphones that were beginning to take off and for which the Facebook of the time had no responsiveness .
” I just need to decide if we buy Instagram . We will regret not doing it because it can do us a lot of significant harm even if it doesn’t become big business, ” Zuckerberg wrote in an email to Facebook chief financial officer David Ebersman in early 2012. And, as they say, the rest is history.
As The Verge has published , in 2012 there was already an interest in not being accused of monopoly (something that Microsoft had to face years ago for practices very similar to those of Facebook and Ebersman knew this well. Zuckerberg affirmed, in addition to the fact that Companies like Instagram could harm Facebook , which inspired by their success, the creators would not want to sell, but would consider it if they were offered a high enough price, such as $ 500 or $ 1 billion, in the end, it was $ 1 billion.
Ebersman wanted to ‘reassure’ Zuckerberg with a series of questions in which he asked him about the reasons, if it had to do with integrating Instagram products and other possible purchases within Facebook to improve Facebook, if he wanted to acquire talent or if he was simply a mechanism to neutralize a potential competitor.
Of the three questions, only two were less bad , the first two, since an affirmative answer to the third is a monopolistic practice, which is precisely what the commission is currently investigating, setting the ‘Big Four’ ( Amazon, Google, Facebook and Apple) in the dock of the interrogations.
And yes, as you can imagine at this point in the film, Zuckerberg’s most obvious idea was to neutralize the competition by means of a purchase. Specifically, Zuckerberg’s response was:
” There is a network effect around social products and a finite number of mechanics to invent. Once someone becomes the leader of that mechanic, it is difficult for others to supplant it without doing something different. We are buying time because, even if they arise Other competitors , buying Instagram, Path, Foursquare, etc. will now give us another year of advantage to integrate their dynamics before any other approaches that scale. If we do, any new product will not have much traction, since we will have the original mechanics implemented on a large scale . “
That statement shows a monopolistic idea and Mark had to realize, or be advised, and about 45 minutes later he sent a short email, but qualifying his words :
” I didn’t mean to imply that we would buy them to prevent them from competing with us in any way .”
Despite this latest email, it appears that the monopolistic practices commission of inquiry has more than enough to investigate a little more about the episode and, in fact, that Mark nuanced his words to that point is further evidence for the committee that He really knew perfectly well that he was doing something illegal.
“It will be time before Facebook can buy Google”
Leaked Facebook emails are a real gem , but there’s a bombshell we weren’t expecting. And, in addition to these emails, an internal Facebook thread has been leaked in which they talk about Google .
Before buying Instagram, a Facebook engineer wrote in the chat:
” Google+ is a false track. We are distracted by a crappy clone while others like Instagram and Pinterest rise up and create new markets that we didn’t see coming .”
To this, Zuckerberg replied after purchasing Instagram with a:
” I remember your post about how Google+ was not a threat and Instagram was. You were right and one of the things about startups is that you can often buy them. One reason why people underestimate the importance of Google ” -we are in Remember, “2012 is because we can probably always buy any other competitive new company, but it will be a while before we can buy Google .”
Now, I think Facebook has gotten a little complicated buying a Google that is one of the most powerful companies , for all its services, on the planet. We will see what happens with Facebook and with a sanction that may be close, but the truth is that the leakage of these emails will not help Zuckerberg be acquitted.