German watchdog bans Facebook from processing WhatsApp data
WhatsApp growth slumps as rivals Signal, Telegram rise
FILE - This Friday, March 10, 2017, file photo shows the WhatsApp communications app on a smartphone, in New York. (AP Photo/Patrick Sison, File)OAKLAND, Calif. – Encrypted messaging apps Signal and Telegram are seeing huge upticks in downloads from Apple and Google’s app stores. Mobile app analytics firm Sensor Tower said Wednesday that Signal saw 17.8 million app downloads on Apple and Google during the week of Jan. 5 to Jan. 12. WhatsApp, meanwhile, saw downloads shrink to 10.6 million, down from 12.7 million the week before. In that same period Telegram has seen about 755.2 million installations and WhatsApp a whopping 5.6 billion — almost eight times as many as Telegram.
Q&A: What's next for Facebook in the antitrust case?
Whatever happens, experts expect a long-drawn out battle that Facebook is prepared to defend vigorously — and with enormous resources. Facebook insists that its services provide useful benefits for users and that complaints about its power are misguided. Justice Department prosecutors are pursuing a separate antitrust case against Google, one that mirrors its case against Microsoft 20 years ago. Facebook doesn't operate the three companies as separate businesses and has been integrating functions of Instagram and WhatsApp with its main platform. While some original Instagram users deride the additions, others have come to appreciate them — and might miss them if they were to disappear.
48 attorneys general, Federal Trade Commission file antitrust lawsuit against Facebook
DETROIT – More than 40 attorneys general, including Michigan, and the Federal Trade Commission have filed a lawsuit Wednesday against Facebook. The lawsuit -- after years of an investigation into Facebook -- is focused on antitrust laws. “We’ve seen this pattern emerge over a number of years where Facebook has illegally stifled competition to protect its monopoly power,” said Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel. RELATED: US government, 48 states bring antitrust action against FacebookThe contention is that Facebook either crushed or bought up its competition to the detriment of the consumers who use it. The FTC is requesting Facebook to divest from Instagram and WhatsApp.
US antitrust siege of tech widens with lawsuits vs Facebook
The antitrust lawsuits were announced by the Federal Trade Commission and New York Attorney General Letitia James. Regulators filed landmark antitrust lawsuits Wednesday against Facebook, the second major government offensive this year against once seemingly untouchable tech behemoths. Facebook, Google, Amazon and Apple have come under scrutiny from Congress, federal regulators, state attorneys general and European authorities. “The government now wants a do-over, sending a chilling warning to American business that no sale is ever final,” Facebook general counsel Jennifer Newstead said in a statement. Antitrust skeptics point to newer social media services such as TikTok and Snapchat as rivals that could “overtake” older platforms like Facebook.
US government, 48 states bring antitrust action against Facebook
Federal regulators asked Wednesday for Facebook to be ordered to divest its Instagram and WhatsApp messaging services as the U.S. government and 48 states and districts accused the company of abusing its market power in social networking to crush smaller competitors. The antitrust lawsuits were announced by the Federal Trade Commission and New York Attorney General Letitia James. “It’s really critically important that we block this predatory acquisition of companies and that we restore confidence to the market,” James said during a press conference announcing the lawsuit. In its lawsuit, the FTC is seeking the separation of the services from Facebook, saying Facebook has engaged in a “a systematic strategy” to eliminate its competition, including by purchasing smaller up-and-coming rivals like Instagram in 2012 and WhatsApp in 2014. Facebook did not have immediate comment.
US government, 48 states bring antitrust action against Facebook
Facebook called the government actions “revisionist history” that punishes successful businesses and noted that the FTC cleared the Instagram and WhatsApp acquisitions years ago. But they are the ones most frequently held up by Facebook critics as properties that should be split off. Facebook paid $1 billion for Instagram, bolstering the social network's business a month before its stock went public. A few years later, Facebook acquired WhatsApp, an encrypted messaging service, for $19 billion. Instagram now has more than 1 billion users worldwide.
WhatsApp bug let hackers use GIFs to take over phones
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(CNN) - WhatsApp has fixed a security bug that allowed hackers to take over the messaging app with a malicious GIF. To update WhatsApp, iPhone users should open the App Store and select updates. Select "WhatsApp" and press update. Select "My apps & games" from the menu, then select WhatsApp and tap the Update button. In May, a vulnerability was discovered that let hackers call a person on WhatsApp and place malicious code on their phone in order to see their personal information.
Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg outlines plan to fight online extremism
Some of Silicon Valley's biggest companies announced Monday that they're revamping an organization they established to fight online extremism in order to allow it to work more extensively with outside parties. MENLO PARK, Calif. - Some of Silicon Valley's biggest companies announced Monday that they're revamping an organization they established to fight online extremism in order to allow it to work more extensively with outside parties. Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook's chief operating officer, spoke alongside Arden. Asked what Facebook could do about the spread of footage like that from the New Zealand attack on WhatsApp, Sandberg said it had used information from Facebook and Instagram to take action against some WhatsApp users. Amazon, LinkedIn, which is owned by Microsoft, and WhatsApp, owned by Facebook, will join the consortium of companies supporting the organization, GIFCT said Monday.
Social media a vital tool in search for loved ones in Bahamas
"If anyone has direct contact with the persons in Hope Town please message me," read a recent comment on one Facebook group, Dorian People Search Bahamas. Eventually, frustrated with authorities and a slow trickle of information, Bootle, her sister and cousin started a WhatsApp chat group. At first, there were about 40 people in the group, Bootle said. Bootle and others would then share that information in the WhatsApp group, sending it out to an even wider audience. She wanted to provide a 'human connection'Pritchard-Ansell, who lives on the island of New Providence with her husband and 10-month-old daughter, has expanded her efforts beyond the Facebook group Bahamas People Search.
Facebook, Instagram experiencing issues worldwide
Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Twitter were all experiencing various issues. Issues on Facebook and Twitter were happening in pockets worldwide, according to Down Detector, which tracks issues and outages on a variety of sites. We're working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible," a Facebook spokesperson told CNN Business, on behalf of its other apps Instagram and WhatsApp. It's unclear what caused issues on Twitter and Facebook apps. In March, Facebook was hit with a partial outage affecting users globally that stretched for almost 24 hours.