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‘Instagram can hurt us’: Mark Zuckerberg emails outline plan to neutralize competitors

The Verge – Antitrust panel says the messages show Zuckerberg trying to buy out his competition: “…The emails between Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and chief financial officer David Ebersman were revealed today during the House antitrust subcommittee’s hearing on antitrust issues in tech, as Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) questioned Zuckerberg about the Instagram acquisition. The emails, along with several other messages and documents from 2012, show that Facebook — and Zuckerberg, in particular — wanted to buy Instagram to avoid competition, the committee argued. “Facebook, by its own admission … saw Instagram as a threat that could potentially siphon business away from Facebook,” Nadler said during the hearing on Wednesday. “So rather than compete with it, Facebook bought it. This is exactly the type of anti-competitive acquisition the antitrust laws were designed to prevent.” Sending a clarification about not preventing companies from competing with Facebook is itself evidence that Zuckerberg knew he’d revealed too much, according to the committee — a calculated walkback intended to help the company avoid future scrutiny of the deal. (In a presentation of the emails to members of Congress, the antitrust committee’s lawyers labeled the slide “Whoops!”)…”

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