The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) may depose Facebook executives like Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg in a probe on whether or not the company participated in a monopoly, reported the Wall Street Journal on Friday. Facebook has been under investigation for months now on whether its acquisition of social networking apps like Instagram were intentional, monopolistic practices by the tech company.
Facebook is not the only tech giant under investigation. Other companies like Google, Apple and Amazon are also under investigation by the Federal Trade Commission into their business practices. Executives from each company, including Mark Zuckerberg, are set to testify in front of a Congressional antitrust subcommittee later this month on July 27th.
The United States government maintains fears that tech giants like Facebook have become too powerful in the digital age. After the 2016 Cambridge Analytica scandal later exposed that Facebook, and its data, was used to manipulate voters in the Presidential election, eyes turned toward the tech companies to determine whether they hold too much power.
Other concerns over whether or not companies like Facebook are too powerful indicate that they prevent competitors from being able to flourish by monopolizing the social media industry. Facebook, which owns Instagram and WhatsApp, controls a major portion of the social media industry as competitors like Twitter and TikTok each serve niche audiences.
Further, Facebook’s role in political elections remains unprecedented compared to other social networks. The company announced last fall that it would not be fact checking political advertisements in a landmark decision that polarized audiences prior to the start of the 2020 Presidential Election season.
Facebook faced a five billion dollar fine for its role in the Cambridge Analytica scandal and could face more depending on the outcome of the antitrust probe. The company has not made a public statement about the potential deposition from neither Zuckerberg nor Sandberg, and the FTC has not provided any official statements.