WSJ: Facebook Lawyers Call Breakup of Social Media Empire a ‘Complete Nonstarter’


The Wall Street Journal reports that a 14-page document from Facebook’s lawyers claim that a government effort to break up Facebook from Instagram and WhatsApp would defy established law, cost billions of dollars, and harm consumers. The paper was prepared by company lawyers as Facebook fears growing antitrust threats.

The document reportedly provides a preview of Facebook’s defense as federal antitrust enforcers and Congress members pursue investigations into the tech giant’s power and past competitive behavior. Alphabet Inc.’s Google, Amazon, and Apple are also facing similar probes.

It’s expected that the House Antitrust Subcommittee will release the findings of its investigation into Facebook and other companies this month. Facebooks’ document was produced by staff at Facebook based on work commission from lawyers at Sidley Austin LLP. The document does offer an insight into how Facebook may defend itself it’s sued on antitrust grounds. The document further appears to show how Facebook’s lawyers plan to fight any attempt to force divestiture of WhatsApp or Instagram.

Facebook acquired Instagram in 2012 and WhatsApp in 2014, both acquisitions were examined by the FTC at the time which closed its reviews without issuing any objection. Facebook has since then made major investments to boost the growth of those platforms and now share numerous integrated operations between them.

According to the WSJ, Facebook lawyers claim that breaking up these companies would be almost impossible to achieve, forcing Facebook to spend billions of dollars maintaining separate systems, weakening security and harming users’ experience. “A ‘breakup’ of Facebook is thus a complete nonstarter,” the paper states.

Read the full article at the Wall Street Journal here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or email him at