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Home / Business / Chris Hughes Essay on Breakup draws an objection from Facebook

Chris Hughes Essay on Breakup draws an objection from Facebook



Facebook pushed back Thursday after Chris Hughes, a billionaire co-founder of the company, argued in a New York Times Op-Ed essay that the company would be broken up and regulated.

"Facebook accepts it successfully comes accountability," Nick Clegg, Facebook's vice president of global affairs and communications, wrote in a statement. "But you do not enforce responsibility by calling for the breakup of a successful American company."

The statement followed a long Op-Ed by Mr. Hughes published online Thursday morning and claimed that the social media giant was subjected to extensive government surveillance and separated into several companies, particularly by spinning photo sharing app Instagram and the messenger service WhatsApp. The essay will appear on print on Sunday.

Mr. Hughes co-founded Facebook with Mark Zuckerberg 15 years ago when they were undergraduates at Harvard. He left the company in 2007 to work on the Obama campaign, and recently focused on the issue of income inequality. In the essay he repeatedly said that Mr. Zuckerberg is a good, kind person, but only has too much power for any individual.

"The government must hold Mark responsible," Hughes wrote in the column 5 800 words, arguing that the social media giant has grown far too powerful.

"From our earliest days, Mark used the word" dominance "to describe our ambitions, without any hint of irony or humility," he wrote. "Over a decade later, Facebook has gained the price of dominance. It's worth half a trillion dollars and commands, by my estimation, more than 80 percent of the world's social networking services.

[LesChrisHughes argument for breaking up Facebook .]

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It is a powerful monopoly, although others have made similar arguments over the past year, released the essay from a long-standing trusted by Mr. Zuckerberg's great interest, given Hughes' role at the start of the company and his once closely affiliated with Mr. Zuckerberg, [19659002] Of course, the debate has also played out on Facebook itself and other social media platforms, some saying that Mr. Hughes's argument was hole, because he had made hundreds of millions of dollars from Facebook, others said that a breakup would not solve the core issues a few companies had with so much power over the information flow.

The Specific Prescription M r. Hughes offered was the government's intervention. He wrote that the Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department "should enforce the antitrust law by repealing Instagram and the WhatsApp acquisitions and banning future acquisitions for several years." He called the decision to allow Facebook to buy these two big competitors "FTC's biggest mistake."


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