FTC slaps Facebook on the wrist and levies $5B fine.
Combining legacy Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp. A grand product strategy or slick tactical move to avert regulators?
Facebook only found religion as it relates to user privacy after the FTC threatened to break up the company into three separate entities – 1) legacy Facebook, 2) Instagram, and 3) WhatsApp. It was at this time that Zuckerberg published his vision for Facebook’s future (below), one that combined the three services into a unified offering with private group messaging as the new focal point.
Once legacy Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp are technically integrated, separating the services into three distinct companies would prove impossible. This technical integration is underway. Our guess is that it took the FTC three months to realize that they are likely 10 years too late in regulating Facebook – they missed their opportunity. Thus, the $5 billion fine which hit the wires Friday: https://www.wsj.com/articles/ftc-approves-roughly-5-billion-facebook-settlement-11562960538?