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Snap, TikTok and Others Protest As Meta Seeks Sensitive Information To Battle FTC Lawsuit

Meta Platforms Inc (NASDAQ: META) is forcing its rivals to reveal some of their most closely held secrets to defend itself from the federal government, 

Benzinga · 09/13/2022 10:17

Meta Platforms Inc (NASDAQ:META) is forcing its rivals to reveal some of their most closely held secrets to defend itself from the federal government, Bloomberg reports.

Facebook's parent company has subpoenaed 132 companies for documents, including Snap Inc (NYSE:SNAP), ByteDance Ltd's TikTokMatch Group, Inc (NASDAQ:MTCH), Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR), Reddit IncOracle Corp (NYSE:ORCL), Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ:MSFTLinkedIn and the audio startup Clubhouse, and has warned that it may seek information from 100 more. 

The rivals accused Meta of exploiting the antitrust litigation to get hold of their private data.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission prosecuted Meta in 2020 for allegedly hogging the social networking market partly through its acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp. 

Meta had denied the charges arguing that the market constantly evolved with newcomers like TikTok and Clubhouse.

Meta's request seeks "materials on every product and nearly every aspect of Snap's business, with a time range that spans almost Snap's entire existence," lawyers said. 

TikTok was concerned over Meta copying the features and tactics with the information sought. Pinterest, LinkedIn, and others had expressed concerns about Meta's "highly invasive" requests, which they said seek their "most competitively sensitive documents."

Meta also sought information from SoftBank Corp (OTC:SFTBY) owned Line Corp, Japan's messaging service Naver Corp and Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten Group Inc (OTC:RKUNF), which owns Viber messaging app.

Separately, analysts have projected more downsides for Snap and Meta as competition and budgets weighed. Piper Sandler found the change to Apple Inc's (NASDAQ:AAPL) operating system making it difficult for apps to track user activity on iPhones and iPads means the likes of Snap and Meta will continue to lag.

Price Action: META shares traded lower by 6.95% at $157.19 on the last check Tuesday.