Facebook Tumbles After FTC Opens Competition Probe

The Trump Administration's long-anticipated anti-trust War on Silicon Valley is starting to look more like a blitzkrieg.

After WSJ opened the floodgates by quietly publishing the first report, about an anti-trust probe into Google, late Friday night, reports exposing new details about the anti-monopoly push, which will also encompass Amazon and, now, Facebook, have been dropping like bombs on the market.

According to WSJ's latest revelation, published around midday New York City time on Monday, the FTC is taking the lead on an anti-trust investigation into Facebook.

The report sent Facebook shares down 9% in midday trade, wiping $6 billion off CEO Mark Zuckerberg's net worth in minutes, showing just how seriously the market is taking the risk that the Trump Administration could do Elizabeth Warren one better by leading the breakup of big tech.

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Per WSJ, the fact that the FTC - which is already preparing to levy a massive fine against Facebook for data privacy violations - has secured jurisdiction over the anti-trust probe into FB, suggesting that the agency is considering even more rigorous scrutiny.

Earlier, the Washington Post published more details about the incipient anti-trust push when it revealed that the FTC also has jurisdiction over an anti-trust probe into Amazon, as the FTC and DoJ divide up the anti-trust push not on a company by company, but on an issue-by-issue, basis, as WSJ explained.

Jurisdictional agreements between the FTC and Justice Department don’t assign one agency the right to oversee one company for all purposes. Instead, the two antitrust agencies clear each other to work on specific issues. Both the FTC and Justice Department, for example, in the past have conducted oversight of issues related to Google and Amazon.

The NYT also published new details about the DOJ's probe into Google, which will reportedly focus on its advertising and search businesses. If the intraday drop holds, it will be the biggest decline in FB shares since December.