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 headfirst into the dark -by unknown- waters of the metaverse, the one that has just starting to walk has already shown signs that it is also going to be moved .
And it is that Meta has started 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 tricky for Zuckerberg’s interests, because it could force him to get rid of two of his 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 in social network services. having acquired two direct rivals such as Instagram and WhatsApp and increasingly integrating 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, on the other hand, the judge has considered that the evidence provided is more solid and detailed than before, so he admits it for processing, rejecting the allegations of those of Zuckerberg and allows the US justice to investigate whether, indeed, the conglomerate digital exerts an excessive dominance of the digital market.
Now a legal battle is opening that seems fierce and that could lead to one of the biggest crises in the history of Meta , 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 for nearly 2,800 million euros for abusing its market dominance in the British Isles to exploit the information of 44 million users, Reuters reports .
The lawsuit states that Facebook used its dominant position in the social network market between 2015 and 2019 to impose unfair terms and conditions on its users, demanding the delivery of very valuable personal data to access the social network , giving it the power to Zuckerberg’s company to exploit them as they wished.
In addition to these legal setbacks, which could well turn into 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 crises in the company’s reputation, added to the current situation in the labor market in the technology sector , have meant that Meta, today, is not finding all the talent it needs , 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 he intended to hire 10,000 new employees in Europe alone .
Thus, the lack of manpower, the tremendous outlay that his adventure in the metaverse is going to entail, and the new legal setbacks , with the possibility of disastrous economic consequences, endanger the long-term continuity of a business that, yes, Until now, it continues to offer very positive results .