Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified before the Federal Trade Commission this week as part of the regulator’s ongoing antitrust investigation into the company, according to a new report from Politico Thursday.
The FTC has been investigating Facebook for potential violations of US antitrust law for at least a year. Facebook announced in July 2019 that the agency had launched a probe into the company as part of its quarterly earnings disclosures. According to Politico, that investigation is still ongoing, and Zuckerberg testified under oath over the course of two days this week as part of the probe.
“We are committed to cooperating with the US Federal Trade Commission’s inquiry and answering the questions the Agency may have,” a Facebook Company spokesperson told The Verge Thursday. The FTC declined to comment.
Facebook is under several antitrust investigations outside of the FTC’s. Last September, a coalition of state attorneys general, led by New York Attorney General Letitia James, opened an investigation into the social media company. Since last July, the House Judiciary Committee has been investigating big tech companies, including Facebook. Just last month, that House panel held a hearing where Zuckerberg testified, along with the CEOs of Apple, Amazon, and Google.
In 2019, the FTC fined Facebook $5 billion as a result of a years-long investigation into the company’s relationship with the political analytics firm Cambridge Analytica and other privacy breaches.
Throughout that hearing, Zuckerberg faced tough questions about Facebook’s acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp. Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) dug into Zuckerberg over text messages the committee obtained that suggested he threatened to copy Instagram as a new Facebook product if the photo-sharing app’s co-founder Kevin Systrom didn’t agree to sell it to the social media giant.
“When the dominant platform threatens its potential rivals, that should not be a normal business practice,” said Jayapal said during July’s hearing.