According to a new report from The Wall Street Journal, the United States Federal Trade Commission is allegedly mulling over the idea of stepping in to stop Facebook from merging together too many of its properties.
If this were to come about, it could put a serious kink into Facebook’s proposal of merging together its prominent chat apps: Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and the messaging features within Instagram.
Facebook’s plan, which Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg first revealed earlier this year, would be to keep the three chat apps functioning on their own but also allow people to communicate with members of each platform, regardless of account status. This means you could use WhatsApp to talk to people on Instagram even if your Instagram friends don’t use WhatsApp.
With the three chat apps under the Facebook banner being some of the biggest around the world, the idea of merging them together does seem like something the FTC would be concerned about. However, Facebook already owns the three platforms so it seems kind of strange that the FTC didn’t step in sooner if it does, in fact, have a problem with this.
It’s possible the FTC is more concerned that, if Facebook merges these properties in some way, it would then be more difficult to split up the company down the road, which major politicians are proposing as a possibility.
The FTC is also allegedly concerned with how Facebook controls third-party access to features on its platforms.
As of now, there hasn’t been any formal announcement from the FTC regarding these plans. We’ll keep you posted if there are any updates.