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Meta: Were not-so-big tech now

As Meta shapes its antitrust defense, it has begun pointing out its plummeting stock price as an indicator that competition is alive and well in its market.

Driving the news headlines: Metas market value is down by a lot more than 60% because the spring. It has lost ground to its surging rival TikTok, and its own revenue has been curtailed by Apple’s iOS privacy changes.

  • Throughout a hearing Monday on the continuing future of case brought against Meta by way of a band of states, Aaron Panner, the attorney representing Facebook, noted the exploding popularity of TikTok along with other social media marketing platforms and said, per Reuters: “Sometimes facts which are best for an antitrust defense are harmful to business.”

Meta’s arguments imply the company is merely no more a colossus deserving so much government scrutiny and lawsuits over what regulators describe as its monopoly.

Why it matters: Most companies do everything they are able to to inform stories of growth and market dominance, but as Meta faces antitrust action by the Federal Trade Commission, the EU and U.S. states, the business is finding it beneficial to underscore its weakness.

By the numbers: Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Google are each worth a lot more than $1 trillion. Meta is currently worth not even half that.

  • Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Google are currently in the very best five companies globally by market cap. Meta sits around number 10.
  • TikTok was once more probably the most downloaded app globally last quarter, a posture it’s held for 8 quarters in a row, per Sensor Tower, an apps analytics firm. Meta keeps introducing changes to Facebook and Instagram to create them similar to TikTok.

What they’re saying: “The actual fact we contend with companies which are often our size and also have vast resources beyond ours isn’t lost on us,” a Meta spokesperson told Axios. “Were acutely aware that, regardless of the economic proof a hyper-competitive landscape, some regulators and politicians seem convinced that Meta includes a monopoly.”

  • Along with highlighting its struggles to contend with TikTok on Capitol Hill and in earnings reports, Meta has blamed Apple’s App Tracking Transparency feature, which lets iPhone users opt out of tracking for targeted advertising, for vast amounts of dollars of lost digital advertising revenue.

Yes, but: Despite taking some major hits, Meta has 2.9 billion monthly active users and had net gain of $6.7 billion on $29 billion revenue last quarter. It’s still buying others. Its global influence over information and advertising remains vast.

The picture as a whole: The FTC has sued Meta over its past acquisitions of WhatsApp and Instagram and recently filed suit to avoid the business from buying VR fitness company Within.

  • Abroad, Meta is fighting antitrust authorities in Germany, the EU and the U.K., in cases that look at Facebook Marketplace, digital advertising and the role of data.
  • Meta has argued that its purchase of Instagram and WhatsApp about ten years ago benefitted users and that it helped grow both companies with techniques that would have already been impossible without its resources. It says its acquisition of Within will significantly boost adoption and innovation in the fitness VR market.

Another side: “[The FTC and the Europeans] will say, ‘We’re not seeking Meta due to market cap, we value other exercising of monopoly power in social media,” Alden Abbott, former FTC general counsel, told Axios.

  • “The scrutiny that Meta faces is of its doing, caused by the business’s aggressive business practices and history of misrepresenting how its products operate,” Jared Holt, senior research manager at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, told Axios.
  • “Though Facebook is needs to recede in popularity among some demographics, it along with other products in Meta’s portfolio remain dominant and important platforms around the world,” Holt said.

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