The year that has just begun is not easy for Mark Zuckerberg either. If 2021 was the year in which a new scandal over Facebook’s practices caused it to change the name of its conglomerate of companies to Meta and announce that it was diving headlong into the dark -by unknown- waters of the metaverse, the one that has just started walking has already shown signs that it will also be moved.
And it is that Meta has begun 2022 with two new legal battles, one in the United States and the other in the United Kingdom, which threaten its accounts and endanger its digital empire. The first of them, that of North America, is especially dangerous for Zuckerberg’s interests, because could force you to get rid of two of your crown jewels, Instagram and WhatsApp.
On January 11, a court in the District of Columbia admitted an antitrust lawsuit filed by the Federal Trade Commission of that country against Facebook, by which the US state agency denounces that Meta has an illegal monopoly on social media services having acquired two direct rivals like Instagram and WhatsApp. and increasingly integrate some platforms with others.
This type of lawsuit against Facebook, now Meta, is not new, since in 2020 the court dismissed one of a similar nature. But this time, instead, the judge has considered that the evidence provided is more solid and detailed than before, so it is admitted for processing, rejecting the allegations of those of Zuckerberg and allows the US justice to investigate whether, indeed, the digital conglomerate exercises excessive dominance of the digital market.
Now a legal battle is opening that seems to be fierce and that could lead to one of the biggest crises in Meta history, and in this case in the area that hurts Zuckerberg the most, the economic one. Because if it is shown that the company has a monopolistic position in the market, the US justice could force it to get rid of two of its most profitable businesses, especially Instagram.
The UK demand
On the other hand, this Friday it has been made public that the UK Financial Conduct Authority has filed a class action lawsuit against Meta of nearly 2,800 million euros for abusing its dominance of the market in the British Isles to exploit the information of 44 million users, according to Reuters.
The lawsuit states that Facebook used its dominant position in the social media market between 2015 and 2019 to impose unfair terms and conditions on its users, demanding that they hand over valuable personal data to access the social network, giving Zuckerberg’s company the power to exploit them as they wished.
In addition to these judicial setbacks, which could well become severe economic setbacks, there is another problem that is no less important for its future: Meta is finding it increasingly difficult to hire new employees.
Not long ago, Facebook was one of the most attractive companies to work for in the world, and almost any professional in almost any field would have been delighted to join its ranks. But the successive reputation crises of the company, added to the current situation of the labor market in the technology sector, have made Meta, today, you’re not finding all the talent you need, according to internal documents to which Protocol had access.
This is especially problematic for a company that is going to undertake a profound transformation of its business strategy with the development of the metaverse, for which Zuckerberg announced that tintended to hire, in Europe alone, 10,000 new employees.
A) Yes, the lack of manpower, the tremendous outlay that his adventure in the metaverse will entail and the new legal blows, with the possibility of disastrous economic consequences, endanger the long-term continuity of a business that, yes, until now continues to offer very positive results.