Will there be a Facebook Monopoly? The current focus on Facebook has led many people to ask this question: can they create their own social network without having to compete with existing companies such as Yahoo? The answer, according to the FTC, is no. The FTC has received complaints from Facebook users regarding their lack of user control and the fact that they are not able to choose who can join their social network. The new Facebook USA law, which was recently passed by Congress, attempts to remedy these issues by giving Facebook the freedom to operate as a “social platform” – but only within those jurisdictions in which it operates.
Does this mean that there will be no more Facebook monopolies? Not necessarily. However, this new lawsuit is another step in Google’s efforts to monopolize the search engine industry. It may very well be the beginning of the end for competition between search engines and social networks.
Will this lawsuit hurt Facebook’s credibility with consumers? No, not necessarily – the current lawsuit was filed by an affiliate of the parent company – but it could very well be a defining moment in the history of the company. It is also the second major lawsuit against Facebook that has been brought against the company in as many months (the first being a Class Action suit). The lack of consumer control, the high barrier to entry and the monopolistic tendencies of the current model, especially considering the way in which the FTC ignored the problems associated with its initial social networking efforts, and the fact that competitors are free to create their own social networks, may force Facebook into a difficult position.