Pressure on Facebook Grows
Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes wrote a long opinion piece in the New York Times calling for Facebook to be broken into smaller, separate companies. Hughes is far from the first to do so. Presidential candidate Senator Elizabeth Warren also has a proposal for breaking up Facebook, Google and Amazon for anti-trust reasons that has been attracting praise and attention. The fact that a co-founder is now adding his voice for ending Facebook’s monopoly shocked many in the tech industry. Hughes provides historical context, solid reasons for why and ideas as to how to do it.
Meanwhile, Natasha Lamb, managing partner at Arjuna Capital, which is a Facebook shareholder, wrote an opinion piece that makes a case for why Mark Zuckerberg should exit Facebook. The article endorses a “Vote No” campaign, started by civil rights groups and shareholders, promoting a vote against Zuckerberg as a member of Facebook’s board. The annual meeting on May 30 also has votes scheduled on several shareholder proposals to create independent oversight, long term accountability, bring on independent advisers and to review content policies.
Not surprisingly, Facebook is having problems hiring, according to a report by CNBC. Former Facebook recruiters told the business news network that since the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke, Facebook has had a sharp decline in job offer acceptances. The more than a half dozen former recruiters said that of those candidates taking interviews with Facebook, they’re asking much tougher questions about how the company works and its privacy policies. Carnegie Mellon University graduates had the steepest decline to just 35% of recruits accepting Facebook job offers. Facebook spokesperson Anthony Harrison disputed the report but refused to cite any specific inaccuracies. This follows earlier CNBC reports that more current Facebook employees are reaching out to former coworkers for new job leads and that start-ups are finding it easier to sway staff to leave Facebook and Google due to scandals.
Is Google Boosting GMB to Monetize It?
Google My Business has undergone many changes in the past year, all of which allow small, local businesses to better promote their products and services to clients. From product and offer to posts to better CTAs, Google has been working to make GMB essential to local marketing. Analysts have long thought that it was only a matter of time before Google started charging for access to features or some other monetization plan. Now RankRanger has put together an analysis of Google’s actions in regard to GMB and how it might lead to monetization.
Italian Regulators Examining Google’s Abuse of Market Dominance
The Italian Antitrust Authority has approved an initial preliminary procedure against Alphabet Inc., Google LLC and Google Italy S.r.l., which is collectively referenced to as “Google” in the documentation, for allegedly abusing its dominance in the smart device market.
Just a month ago, the Italian Antitrust Authority began a similar investigation into Amazon. CNBC has more details on the investigations.