After years of slumber, US and EU antitrust enforcers are beginning to stir, calling tech CEOs in for hearings, opening investigations, and hinting darkly at the possibility of future breakups.

The tech companies have seen this day coming. Many believe the reason Google restructured as Alphabet was to create clean cleavage lines for a future breakup, a means to steer future enforcers (for example, away from forcing Google to split search from advertising).


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Now, a leaked internal memo obtained by the WSJ lays out Facebook's plan to avoid breakup. It's a really stupid plan.

As reported on Engadget, the memo basically says, "If you didn't want us to monopolize the sector, you shouldn't have allowed us to buy Whatsapp and Instagram and now that you have, it's too late, nyah."


No, really: FB's defense is that because the initial mergers were permitted, that permission can't be subsequently withdrawn.

What this defense fails to account for is:

* the subsequent revelation that Zuckerberg undertook the Insta acquisition for illegal anticompetitive purposes (to snuff out a potential future competitor);

* the fact that FB defrauded the EU when it promised not to merge the backends of Whatsapp, Insta and Messenger


Instead, FB emphasizes that it spent a lot of money integrating these companies it acquired under false, illegal pretenses, and it would cost a lot to unwind them.

tldr: If we'd known your approval of these mergers was contingent on us not breaking the law, we'd never have committed the resources to buy these services and do illegal frauds with them. It's totally unfair to ask us to stop now.


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