Skip to main content

Zuckerberg to tell Congress that Instagram, WhatsApp needed Facebook to succeed

Facebook founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg plans to tell Congress Wednesday in a highly anticipated antitrust hearing that Instagram and WhatsApp, both owned by the company, would not have been able to succeed without his company’s resources, according to a report in CNBC.

Facebook has made Instagram and WhatsApp successful as part of our family of apps,” Zuckerberg said in a prepared statement — which was first obtained by The New York Times.

Zuckerberg will join three other tech executives — Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Alphabet’s Sundar Pichai, and Apple’s Tim Cook — to appear before the House Judiciary Commitee’s Antitrust subcommittee on Wednesday. The group will defend themselves against claims that their companies may have monopolized the industry to skirt competitors and gain dominance.

New: Mark Zuckerberg will make the case to the House tm that Insta and WhatsApp are better for consumers b/c Facebook bought them, raise threat of China and say that FB started “with nothing” and thrived by making better products, per testimony to antitrust probe reviewed by NYT.

— David McCabe (@dmccabe) July 28, 2020

Facebook acquired Instagram in 2012 for $1 billion, an investment that has clearly paid off — the photo-and-video sharing app reportedly took in over $6 billion in revenue in 2018. Facebook’s other successful acquisition, WhatsApp, is one of the biggest messaging apps in the world.

Zuckerberg Testimony Congress
Mark Zuckerberg appears before Congress on April 10, 2018. Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

Zuckerberg plans to make a case for these two acquisitions Wednesday in front of legislators.

“Instagram and WhatsApp have been able to grow and operate their services using Facebook’s bespoke, lower-cost infrastructure and tackle spam and harmful content with Facebook’s integrity teams and technology,” Zuckerberg said in a statement.

He also plans to argue that Facebook’s purchase of WhatsApp allowed the messaging app to remain free, and allowed Instagram to remove spam and expand on its infrastructure.

“These benefits came about as a result of our acquisition of those companies, and would not have happened had we not made those acquisitions,” the testimony reads. “The end result is better services that provide more value to people and advertisers, which is a core goal of Facebook’s acquisition strategy.”

Facebook, along with Apple, Amazon, and Google, have grown to epic sizes within the last decade, raking in billions of dollars along the way, with the help of little oversight by the government. It wasn’t until last summer when the House Judiciary Committee launched an investigation of anticompetitive conduct in the tech space after calls from both sides of the political aisle that Big Tech should be regulated. Wednesday’s hearing will be the first opportunity legislators will have to hear from tech CEOs themselves — as pressure from critics and skeptics mount.

Editors' Recommendations

Meira Gebel
Meira Gebel is a freelance reporter based in Portland. She writes about tech, social media, and internet culture for Digital…
Facebook starts merging Instagram, Messenger chat features on iOS, Android
Instagram logo

Facebook has apparently started merging the chat services of Instagram and Messenger on mobile devices, following through with a plan that was revealed in early 2019.

For some people, a notification has popped up on the iOS and Android versions of Instagram, offering "a new way to message" while showing the photo-sharing app's icon alongside Messenger's. The notification, which offers users a choice of updating the app, also lists features such as a new colorful design, emoji reactions, swipe to reply, and the option of chatting with friends on Facebook.

Read more
Facebook boss reportedly ‘really worried’ over possible TikTok ban
mark zuckerberg speaking

Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg has reportedly voiced serious concerns about the possibility of the U.S. government banning the popular video-sharing app TikTok.

Speaking to employees at an all-hands meeting on Thursday, August 6, the CEO said that such a move, which has been threatened by President Trump, would set “a really bad long-term precedent,” according to a BuzzFeed report.

Read more
Zuckerberg defends Facebook’s misinformation and hate policies in earnings call
mark zuckerberg shocked

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg defended his company's policies when it comes to moderating hate speech and misinformation in an earnings call Thursday, saying, "We do not profit from misinformation or hate.

"We do not want this content on our platforms," he continued. "As I told Congress yesterday, I am proud of the services we build."

Read more