Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren asserted that she would break up Facebook and Instagram if she were president in a Wednesday interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
“Here’s the thing, we can go back and still do it,” Warren answered when asked whether or not she would have supported the 2012 merger of Facebook and Instagram.
“It’s possible to go back under antitrust and just say, look, we let this merger go through. Often, the mergers are on conditions — conditional that they aren’t going to do this or do that — but let the merger go through, and it turns out that it has anticompetitive effects. And if it has anticompetitive effects, then we can go back and unwind these deals, break these pieces apart.”(RELATED: Facebook Drops Elizabeth Warren’s Anti Big-Tech Campaign Ad)
Facebook acquired Instagram in April 2012 for $1 billion, and leadership with both companies promised to remain independent.
“For years, we’ve focused on building the best experience for sharing photos with your friends and family,” Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg wrote at the time. “Now, we’ll be able to work even more closely with the Instagram team to also offer the best experiences for sharing beautiful mobile photos with people based on your interests.”
Instagram Co-Founder Kevin Systrom responded to Warren’s push to break up Facebook by saying that Instagram merging with Facebook allowed the company to better help their users in a conversation at SXSW.
“Here’s the thing: if Instagram hadn’t been sold to Facebook, and went away, then that’s an example of a merger or acquisition happening and reducing competition,” Systrom said, “What consumer was damaged because Instagram grew to the size that it did? I think [Instagram’s size] is a strong argument that the acquisition helped users.”