Facebook (now known as Meta) alleges that its social networking platforms have dozens of outside rivals, but a recently released internal memo reveals that top executives were more worried about threats posed by their own products rather than by competitors.
Bloomberg reports that a recently released internal memo reveals that Facebook executives’ sentiments internally are at odds with the company’s stated worries about competition from other social media companies. The “Cunningham memo,” written in October 2018 for CEO Mark Zuckerberg by senior data scientist Thomas Cunningham, outlines the company’s growth strategies and how it can prevent Instagram and WhatsApp — companies owned by Facebook — from cannibalizing Facebook’s future plans.
The memo was featured prominently in a congressional inquiry into competitive practices in the tech industry that focused on the industry’s biggest companies including Facebook. The House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee, which obtained the document from Facebook via subpoena, released the memo on Tuesday for the first time as part of its final report on competition in digital markets.
A person privy to confidential deliberations divulged that the memo contributed to the antitrust panel’s creation of proposed antitrust legislation that would impact the Masters of the Universe. One of these measures may be voted on by Congress as early as next week.
Facebook would be required to provide the same level of access to its platforms as its own products have — for example, by allowing users to cross-post or import contacts from other social networks — if the American Innovation and Choice Online Act were passed.
Despite the fact that the legislation has passed in the House and the Senate, it still must receive final approval from both chambers. Facebook is opposed to the bill, as are Google, Amazon, and Apple.