A poster child for what's wrong with merger-driven growth is the Google-Fitbit acquisition, which would see the dominant wearable fitness tracker company disappear into the Googleplex, along with its massive trove of sensitive user data.
Mark Zuckerberg's recent blog discussing Facebook's vision to become a 'privacy-focused' platform comes just over a month after he announced its merger with Instagram and WhatsApp. The merger has raised concerns (from, amongst others, Ireland's DPC who regulate Facebook in the EU) for users' privacy across the three platforms and the sharing of data between them.
EPIC to FTC: After Home Spying Reports, Google Should Divest Nest Following reports that Google installed secret listening devices in the homes security product Nest, EPIC asked the Federal Trade Commission to require Google to spin-off Nest and to disgorge the data obtained from Nest users.
"With the integration project currently expected to take a year to complete, and with end-to-end encryption as part of the plan, we should expect the Facebook engineering teams to focus attention on uniform data security both in their platform and in the apps themselves." Worryingly, child safety campaigners have warned that this could make child-grooming even easier for online sickos.
The Facebook spokesperson added: "We’re working on making more of our messaging products end-to-end encrypted and considering ways to make it easier to reach friends and family across networks." Shape Created with Sketch.
For decades the standard for evaluating whether to break up monopolies, or block the mergers that create them, has been “consumer welfare.” And this consumer welfare standard has predominantly been interpreted as low prices.