Facebook's Nick Clegg defends tech giant's market dominance
Following comments from Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes that it is time to split up the social tech monopoly, the former politician came to its defence.
Hughes, in piece for the New York Times, made the case that Facebook should not have been allowed to acquire social media platform Instagram and messaging platform Whatsapp.
He has called for Facebook to break up, to sell off the units it acquired including Instagram and WhatsApp, and to introduce a ban on similar new acquisitions.
He has also suggested that a new federal agency should oversee Facebook and its competitors.
Facebook’s current share structure allows the Facebook CEO power to veto matters of company policy, despite holding a minority of its shares.
It is a matter which Hughes argues called for US ‘antitrust’ laws to be introduced, which prevent a company from gaining an unfairly large footing in a given market.
“Some people doubt that an effort to break up Facebook would win in the courts, given the hostility on the federal bench to antitrust action, or that this divided Congress would ever be able to muster enough consensus to create a regulatory agency for social media,” he wrote in his ‘It’s Time to Break Up Facebook’ piece.
In response to the call for action, former Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg, now VP of Global Affairs and Communications at Facebook, said the social media giant should be regulated by new ‘rules for the internet’.
“Facebook accepts that with success comes accountability. But you don’t enforce accountability by calling for the breakup of a successful American company,” he said.
“Accountability of tech companies can only be achieved through the painstaking introduction of new rules for the internet. That is exactly what Mark Zuckerberg has called for.”