Brief: US Rep Vies For Possible Facebook Break-Up

David Cicilline.
Photo credit: Paul Morigi/Brookings Institution

David Cicilline, a U.S. Representative who's best known for chairing the U.S. House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, has called for the breakup of social media giant Facebook in an interview with Axios. In the interview, he didn't just limit his criticism to Facebook but also stretched into Google and Amazon, pointing to the power they hold in their respective markets.

"Mr. Zuckerberg acknowledged in this hearing that his acquisition of WhatsApp and Instagram were part of a plan to both buy a competitor and also maintain his money, power, or his dominance. That's classic monopoly behavior,"  Cicilline said in the Axios interview, where he spoke primarily about the recent Congressional hearing attended by the CEOs of Facebook, Amazon, Apple, and Alphabet. In the interview with Axios, Cicilline implied that there was a case to break up big tech companies and particularly singled out Facebook, which he termed as lacking competitors. He also postulated that Facebook should have not been allowed to acquire Instagram and WhatsApp, two of the company's three main services.

On the heels of the hearing, the U.S. House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee plans to develop a set of recommendations and issue the four technology companies whose CEOs attended the hearing a final report by late August, according to Cicilline.