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Meta Platforms, Inc., (file no. 3835815)
doing business as A trade name, trading name, or business name, is a pseudonym used by companies that do not operate under their registered company name. The term for this type of alternative name is a "fictitious" business name. Registering the fictitious name w ...
Meta and formerly named Facebook, Inc., and TheFacebook, Inc., is an American multinational technology conglomerate based in
Menlo Park, California Menlo Park is a city at the eastern edge of San Mateo County, California, San Mateo County within the San Francisco Bay Area of California in the United States. It is bordered by San Francisco Bay on the north and east; East Palo Alto, Californ ...
. The company owns
Facebook Facebook is an online social media and social networking service owned by American company Meta Platforms. Founded in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg with fellow Harvard College students and roommates Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dusti ...
,
Instagram Instagram is a photo and video sharing social networking service owned by American company Meta Platforms. The app allows users to upload media that can be edited with Social media camera filter, filters and organized by hashtags and Geotaggi ...
, and
WhatsApp WhatsApp (also called WhatsApp Messenger) is an internationally available freeware, cross-platform, Centralized computing, centralized instant messaging (IM) and Voice over IP, voice-over-IP (VoIP) service owned by American company Meta Platfor ...
, among other products and services. Meta was once one of the world's most valuable companies, but as of 2022 is not one of the top twenty biggest companies in the United States. It is considered one of the Big Five American
information technology Information technology (IT) is the use of computers to create, process, store, retrieve, and exchange all kinds of Data (computing), data . and information. IT forms part of information and communications technology (ICT). An information te ...
companies, alongside
Alphabet An alphabet is a standardized set of basic written graphemes (called letter (alphabet), letters) that represent the phonemes of certain spoken languages. Not all writing systems represent language in this way; in a syllabary, each character ...
,
Amazon Amazon most often refers to: * Amazons, a tribe of female warriors in Greek mythology * Amazon rainforest, a rainforest covering most of the Amazon basin * Amazon River, in South America * Amazon (company), an American multinational technology co ...
,
Apple An apple is an edible fruit produced by an apple tree (''Malus domestica''). Apple fruit tree, trees are agriculture, cultivated worldwide and are the most widely grown species in the genus ''Malus''. The tree originated in Central Asia, wh ...
, and
Microsoft Microsoft Corporation is an American multinational corporation, multinational technology company, technology corporation producing Software, computer software, consumer electronics, personal computers, and related services headquartered at th ...
. As of 2022, it is the least profitable of the five. Meta's products and services include Facebook,
Messenger ''MESSENGER'' was a NASA Space probe, robotic space probe that orbited the planet Mercury (planet), Mercury between 2011 and 2015, studying Mercury's chemical composition, Geology of Mercury, geology, and Mercury's magnetic field, magnetic field ...
,
Facebook Watch Facebook Watch is a video on demand service operated by American company Meta Platforms (previously named Facebook, Inc.). The company announced the service in August 2017 and was available to all U.S. users that month. Facebook Watch's original ...
, and Meta Portal. It has also acquired Oculus, Giphy,
Mapillary Mapillary is a service for sharing crowdsourcing, crowdsourced geotagged photos, developed by remote company Mapillary AB, based in Malmö, Sweden. Mapillary was launched in 2013 and acquired by Facebook, Inc. (now Meta Platforms) in 2020. This ...
, Kustomer, Presize and has a 9.99% stake in
Jio Platforms Jio Platforms is an Indian multinational technology company A technology company (or tech company) is an electronics-based technology, technological company, including, for example, business relating to digital electronics, software, and in ...
. In 2021, the company generated 97.5% of its revenue from the sale of
advertising Advertising is the practice and techniques employed to bring attention to a product or service. Advertising aims to put a product or service in the spotlight in hopes of drawing it attention from consumers. It is typically used to promote a ...
. In October 2021, the parent company of Facebook changed its name from Facebook, Inc., to Meta Platforms, Inc., to "reflect its focus on building the metaverse". According to Meta, the "metaverse" refers to the integrated environment that links all of the company's products and services.


History

Facebook filed for an
initial public offering An initial public offering (IPO) or stock launch is a public offering in which shares of a company are sold to institutional investors and usually also to retail (individual) investors. An IPO is typically Underwriting, underwritten by one or mo ...
(IPO) on January 1, 2012. The preliminary prospectus stated that the company sought to raise $5 billion, had 845 million monthly active users, and a website accruing 2.7 billion likes and comments daily. After the IPO, Zuckerberg would retain a 22% ownership share in Facebook and would own 57% of the voting shares.
Underwriter Underwriting (UW) services are provided by some large financial institutions, such as banks, insurance companies and investment houses, whereby they guarantee payment in case of damage or financial loss and accept the financial risk for liabilit ...
s valued the shares at $38 each, valuing the company at $104 billion, the largest valuation to date for a newly public company. On May 16, one day before the IPO, Facebook announced it would sell 25% more shares than originally planned due to high demand. The IPO raised $16 billion, making it the third-largest in US history (slightly ahead of
AT&T Wireless AT&T Mobility LLC, also known as AT&T Wireless and marketed as simply AT&T, is an American telecommunications company. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of AT&T Inc. and provides wireless services in the United States The United States ...
and behind only
General Motors The General Motors Company (GM) is an American Multinational corporation, multinational Automotive industry, automotive manufacturing company headquartered in Detroit, Michigan, United States. It is the largest automaker in the United States and ...
and Visa). The stock price left the company with a higher
market capitalization Market capitalization, sometimes referred to as market cap, is the total value of a publicly traded company's outstanding common shares owned by stockholders. Market capitalization is equal to the market price per common share multiplied by ...
than all but a few U.S. corporations—surpassing heavyweights such as
Amazon Amazon most often refers to: * Amazons, a tribe of female warriors in Greek mythology * Amazon rainforest, a rainforest covering most of the Amazon basin * Amazon River, in South America * Amazon (company), an American multinational technology co ...
,
McDonald's McDonald's Corporation is an American Multinational corporation, multinational fast food chain store, chain, founded in 1940 as a restaurant operated by Richard and Maurice McDonald, in San Bernardino, California, United States. They rechri ...
,
Disney The Walt Disney Company, commonly known as Disney (), is an American multinational mass media and entertainment Entertainment is a form of activity that holds the attention and interest of an audience or gives pleasure and delig ...
, and
Kraft Foods The second incarnation of Kraft Foods is an American food manufacturing and processing conglomerate (company), conglomerate, split from Kraft Foods Inc. in 2012 and headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. It became part of Kraft Heinz in 2015. A ...
—and made Zuckerberg's stock worth $19 billion.
Alternate LinkArchived
/ref> ''
The New York Times ''The New York Times'' (''the Times'', ''NYT'', or the Gray Lady) is a daily newspaper based in New York City with a worldwide readership reported in 2020 to comprise a declining 840,000 paid print subscribers, and a growing 6 million paid d ...
'' stated that the offering overcame questions about Facebook's difficulties in attracting advertisers to transform the company into a "must-own stock". Jimmy Lee of
JPMorgan Chase JPMorgan Chase & Co. is an American Multinational corporation, multinational Investment banking, investment bank and financial services holding company headquartered in City of New York, New York City and Delaware General Corporation Law, inco ...
described it as "the next great blue-chip". Writers at
TechCrunch TechCrunch is an American online newspaper focusing on high tech and Startup company, startup companies. It was founded in June 2005 by Archimedes Ventures, led by partners Michael Arrington and Keith Teare. In 2010, AOL acquired the company fo ...
, on the other hand, expressed skepticism, stating, "That's a big multiple to live up to, and Facebook will likely need to add bold new revenue streams to justify the mammoth valuation." Trading in the stock, which began on May 18, was delayed that day due to technical problems with the
Nasdaq The Nasdaq Stock Market () (National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations Stock Market) is an American stock exchange based in New York City New York, often called New York City or NYC, is the ...
exchange. The stock struggled to stay above the IPO price for most of the day, forcing underwriters to buy back shares to support the price. At closing bell, shares were valued at $38.23, only $0.23 above the IPO price and down $3.82 from the opening bell value. The opening was widely described by the financial press as a disappointment. The stock nonetheless set a new record for trading volume of an IPO. On May 25, 2012, the stock ended its first full week of trading at $31.91, a 16.5% decline. On May 22, 2012, regulators from
Wall Street Wall Street is an eight-block-long street in the Financial District, Manhattan, Financial District of Lower Manhattan in New York City. It runs between Broadway (Manhattan), Broadway in the west to South Street (Manhattan), South Street and ...
's
Financial Industry Regulatory Authority The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is a private American corporation that acts as a self-regulatory organization A self-regulatory organization (SRO) is an organization that exercises some degree of regulatory authority over ...
announced that they had begun to investigate whether banks underwriting Facebook had improperly shared information only with select clients rather than the general public.
Massachusetts Massachusetts (Massachusett language, Massachusett: ''Muhsachuweesut assachusett writing systems, məhswatʃəwiːsət'' English: , ), officially the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is the most populous U.S. state, state in the New England ...
Secretary of State William Galvin subpoenaed
Morgan Stanley Morgan Stanley is an American multinational investment management and financial services company headquartered at 1585 Broadway in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. With offices in more than 41 countries and more than 75,000 employees, the fir ...
over the same issue. The allegations sparked "fury" among some investors and led to the immediate filing of several lawsuits, one of them a
class action A class action, also known as a class-action lawsuit, class suit, or representative action, is a type of lawsuit where one of the parties is a group of people who are represented collectively by a member or members of that group. The class action ...
suit claiming more than $2.5 billion in losses due to the IPO.
Bloomberg Bloomberg may refer to: People * Daniel J. Bloomberg (1905–1984), audio engineer * Georgina Bloomberg (born 1983), professional equestrian * Michael Bloomberg (born 1942), American businessman and founder of Bloomberg L.P.; politician and ma ...
estimated that retail investors may have lost approximately $630 million on Facebook stock since its debut.
Standard & Poor's S&P Global Ratings (previously Standard & Poor's and informally known as S&P) is an American credit rating agency (CRA) and a division of S&P Global that publishes financial research and analysis on capital stock, stocks, Bond (finance), bonds, ...
added Facebook to its
S&P 500 The Standard and Poor's 500, or simply the S&P 500, is a stock market index tracking the stock performance of 500 large companies listed on stock exchanges in the United States. It is one of the most commonly followed equity indices. As of D ...
index on December 21, 2013. On May 2, 2014, Zuckerberg announced that the company would be changing its internal motto from "Move fast and break things" to "Move fast with stable infrastructure". The earlier motto had been described as Zuckerberg's "prime directive to his developers and team" in a 2009 interview in ''
Business Insider ''Insider'', previously named ''Business Insider'' (''BI''), is an American financial and business news website founded in 2007. Since 2015, a majority stake in ''Business Insider''s parent company Insider Inc. has been owned by the German publ ...
'', in which he also said, "Unless you are breaking stuff, you are not moving fast enough."


2018—2020: Focus on the metaverse

In 2018, the Oculus lead, Jason Rubin, sent his 50-page vision document titled "The Metaverse" to Facebook's leadership. In the document, Rubin acknowledged that Facebook's
virtual reality Virtual reality (VR) is a Simulation, simulated experience that employs pose tracking and 3D near-eye displays to give the user an immersive feel of a virtual world. Applications of virtual reality include entertainment (particularly video g ...
business had not caught on as expected, despite the hundreds of millions of dollars spent on content for early adopters. He also urged the company to execute fast and invest heavily on the vision, to shut out HTC, Apple,
Google Google LLC () is an American Multinational corporation, multinational technology company focusing on Search Engine, search engine technology, online advertising, cloud computing, software, computer software, quantum computing, e-commerce, ar ...
and other competitors in the VR space. Regarding other players' participation in the metaverse vision, he called for the company to build the " metaverse" to prevent their competitors from "being in the VR business in a meaningful way at all". In May 2019, Facebook founded Libra Networks, reportedly to develop their own stablecoin
cryptocurrency A cryptocurrency, crypto-currency, or crypto is a digital currency designed to work as a medium of exchange through a computer network that is not reliant on any central authority, such as a government or bank, to uphold or maintain it. It is ...
. Later, it had been reported that Libra was being supported by financial companies such as Visa, Mastercard,
PayPal PayPal Holdings, Inc. is an American multinational financial technology company operating an online payments system in the majority of countries that support E-commerce payment system, online money transfers, and serves as an electronic altern ...
and
Uber Uber Technologies, Inc. (Uber), based in San Francisco, provides mobility as a service, Ridesharing company, ride-hailing (allowing users to book a car and driver to transport them in a way similar to a taxi), food delivery (Uber Eats an ...
. The consortium of companies were expected to pool in $10 million each to fund the launch of the cryptocurrency coin named Libra. Depending on when it would receive approval from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory authority to operate as a payments service, the Libra Association had planned to launch a limited format cryptocurrency in 2021. Libra was renamed Diem, before being shut down and sold in January 2022 after backlash from government regulators and the public. During the
COVID-19 pandemic The COVID-19 pandemic, also known as the coronavirus pandemic, is an ongoing global pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The novel virus was first identif ...
, the use of online services including Facebook grew globally. Zuckerberg predicted this would be a "permanent acceleration" that would continue after the pandemic. Facebook hired aggressively, growing from 48,268 employees in March 2020 to more than 87,000 by September 2022.


2021: Rebrand as Meta

Following a period of intense scrutiny and damaging whistleblower leaks, news started to emerge on October 21, 2021, about Facebook's plan to
rebrand Rebranding is a marketing strategy Marketing strategy allows Organizational structure, organizations to focus limited resources on best opportunities to increase sales and achieve a competitive advantage in the market. Strategic marketing eme ...
the company and to change its name. In the Q3 2021 Earnings Call, on October 25, Mark Zuckerberg discussed the ongoing criticism of the company's social services and the way it operates, and pointed to the pivoting efforts to building the metaverse – without mentioning the rebranding and the name change. The metaverse vision and the name change from Facebook, Inc. to Meta Platforms was introduced at Facebook Connect on October 28, 2021. Based on Facebook's PR campaign, the name change reflects the company's shifting long term focus of building the metaverse, a digital extension of the physical world by social media, virtual reality and augmented reality features. "Meta" had been registered as a
trademark A trademark (also written trade mark or trade-mark) is a type of intellectual property consisting of a recognizable sign (semiotics), sign, design, or expression (language), expression that identifies Good (economics and accounting), product ...
in the United States in 2018 (after an initial filing in 2015) for marketing, advertising, and computer services, by a Canadian company that provided
big data Though used sometimes loosely partly because of a lack of formal definition, the interpretation that seems to best describe Big data is the one associated with large body of information that we could not comprehend when used only in smaller am ...
analysis of
scientific literature : ''For a broader class of literature, see Academic publishing.'' Scientific literature comprises scholarly publications that report original empirical and theoretical work in the natural and social sciences. Within an academic field, s ...
. This company was acquired in 2017 by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), a foundation established by Zuckerberg and his wife
Priscilla Chan Priscilla Chan (born February 24, 1985) is an American philanthropist and a former pediatrician. She and her husband, Mark Zuckerberg, a co-founder and CEO of Meta Platforms, established the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative in December 2015, with a p ...
, and became one of their projects. Following the rebranding announcement, CZI announced that it had already decided to deprioritize the earlier Meta project, that it would be transferring its rights to the name to Meta Platforms, and that the project would end in 2022.


2022–present: Declining profits and mass layoffs

Soon after the rebranding, in early February 2022, Meta reported a greater-than-expected decline in profits in the fourth quarter of 2021. It reported no growth in monthly users, and indicated it expected revenue growth to stall. The company also expected measures taken by Apple, Inc. to protect user privacy to cost it some $10 billion in advertisement revenue, an amount equal to roughly 8% of its revenue for 2021. In meeting with Meta staff the day after earnings were reported, Zuckerberg blamed competition for user attention, particularly from video-based apps such as
TikTok TikTok, known in China as Douyin (), is a Video clip, short-form video Online video platform, hosting service owned by the Chinese company ByteDance. It hosts user-submitted videos, which can range in duration from 15 seconds to 10 minutes. T ...
. The 27% reduction in the company's share price which occurred in reaction to the news eliminated some $230 billion of value from Meta's
market capitalization Market capitalization, sometimes referred to as market cap, is the total value of a publicly traded company's outstanding common shares owned by stockholders. Market capitalization is equal to the market price per common share multiplied by ...
.
Bloomberg Bloomberg may refer to: People * Daniel J. Bloomberg (1905–1984), audio engineer * Georgina Bloomberg (born 1983), professional equestrian * Michael Bloomberg (born 1942), American businessman and founder of Bloomberg L.P.; politician and ma ...
referred to the decline as " ..an epic rout that, in its sheer scale, is unlike anything Wall Street or Silicon Valley has ever seen". Zuckerberg's net worth fell by as much as $31 billion. Zuckerberg controls 13% of Meta, and the holding makes up the bulk of his wealth. According to published reports by
Bloomberg News Bloomberg News (originally Bloomberg Business News) is an international news agency A news agency is an organization that gathers news reports and sells them to subscribing news organizations, such as newspapers, magazines and All-news rad ...
on March 30, 2022, Meta turned over data such as phone numbers, physical addresses, and
IP addresses An Internet Protocol address (IP address) is a numerical label such as that is connected to a computer network that uses the Internet Protocol for communication.. Updated by . An IP address serves two main functions: network interface Identi ...
to hackers posing as law enforcement officials using forged documents. The law enforcement requests sometimes included forged signatures of real or fictional officials. When asked about the allegations, a Meta representative said, "We review every data request for legal sufficiency and use advanced systems and processes to validate law enforcement requests and detect abuse." In June 2022,
Sheryl Sandberg Sheryl Kara Sandberg (born August 28, 1969) is an American business executive, billionaire, and philanthropist. Sandberg served as chief operating officer (COO) of Meta Platforms, a position from which she stepped down in August 2022. She is als ...
, the COO of 14 years, announced she would step down from the role in the fall of the same year. Zuckerberg stated that Javier Olivan would replace Sandberg, though in a "more traditional" role. In July 2022, Meta saw its first year-on-year revenue decline when its total revenue slipped by 1% to $28.8bn. Many analysts and journalists accredited the loss to its advertising business, which has been limited by Apple's app tracking transparency feature and the number of people who have opted not to be tracked by Meta apps. Zuckerberg also accredited the decline to increasing competition from TikTok. On October 27, 2022, Meta's market value dropped to $268 billion, a loss of around $700 billion compared to last year, and its shares fell by 24%. It lost its spot among the top 20 US companies by market cap, despite reaching the top 5 in the previous year. In November 2022, Meta laid off 11,000 employees, 13% of its workforce. Zuckerberg said the decision to aggressively increase Meta's investments was a mistake, as he had wrongly predicted that the surge in e-commerce would last beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. He also attributed the decline to increased competition, a global economic downturn and "ads signal loss". The ''Wall Street Journal'' characterized the layoffs as part of a general downturn in the tech industry, alongside layoffs by companies including Snap,
Twitter Twitter is an online social media and social networking service owned and operated by American company Twitter, Inc., on which users post and interact with 280-character-long messages known as "tweets". Registered users can post, like, and ...
and
Lyft Lyft, Inc. offers mobility as a service, Ridesharing company, ride-hailing, vehicles for hire, motorized scooters, a bicycle-sharing system, rental cars, and food delivery in the United States and select cities in Canada. Lyft sets fares, which ...
.


Mergers and acquisitions

Throughout its existence, Facebook, Inc./Meta has acquired multiple companies (often identified as
talent acquisition Acqui-hiring or Acq-hiring (a portmanteau of "acquisition" and "hiring", also called talent acquisition) is a neologism which describes the process of Mergers and acquisitions, acquiring a company primarily to Recruitment, recruit its employees, ra ...
s). One of its first major acquisitions was in April 2012, when it acquired
Instagram Instagram is a photo and video sharing social networking service owned by American company Meta Platforms. The app allows users to upload media that can be edited with Social media camera filter, filters and organized by hashtags and Geotaggi ...
for approximately US$1 billion in cash and stock. In October 2013, Facebook, Inc. acquired Onavo, an Israeli mobile web analytics company. In February 2014, Facebook, Inc. announced it would buy mobile messaging company
WhatsApp WhatsApp (also called WhatsApp Messenger) is an internationally available freeware, cross-platform, Centralized computing, centralized instant messaging (IM) and Voice over IP, voice-over-IP (VoIP) service owned by American company Meta Platfor ...
for US$19 billion in cash and stock. Later that year, Facebook bought
Oculus VR Reality Labs is a business of Meta Platforms (formerly Facebook Inc.) that produces virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) hardware and software, including virtual reality headsets such as Oculus Quest, Quest, and online platforms such ...
for $2.3 billion in stock and cash, which released its first consumer virtual reality headset in 2016. In late November 2019, Facebook, Inc. announced the acquisition of the game developer Beat Games, responsible for developing one of that year's most popular VR games, ''
Beat Saber ''Beat Saber'' is a virtual reality rhythm game developed and published by Czech Republic, Czech game developer Beat Games. It takes place in a surrealistic neon environment and features the player slicing blocks representing musical beats with ...
''. In April 2020, Facebook, Inc. announced a $5.7-billion deal with the Indian multinational conglomerate
Reliance Industries Reliance Industries Limited is an Indian multinational corporation, multinational Conglomerate (company), conglomerate company, headquartered in Mumbai. It has diverse businesses including energy industry, energy, petrochemicals, natural gas, ...
to purchase approximately 10 percent of
Jio Platforms Jio Platforms is an Indian multinational technology company A technology company (or tech company) is an electronics-based technology, technological company, including, for example, business relating to digital electronics, software, and in ...
, Reliance's digital media and services entity. In May 2020, Facebook, Inc. announced it had acquired Giphy for a reported cash price of $400 million. It will be integrated with the Instagram team. However, in August 2021, UK's
Competition and Markets Authority The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is the competition regulator in United Kingdom. It is a non-ministerial government department in the United Kingdom, responsible for strengthening business competition and preventing and reducing anti-com ...
(CMA) stated that Facebook, Inc. might have to sell Giphy, after an investigation found that the deal between the two companies would harm competition in display advertising market. Facebook, Inc. was fined $70 million by CMA for deliberately failing to report all information regarding the acquisition and the ongoing
antitrust Competition law is the field of law Law is a set of rules that are created and are law enforcement, enforceable by social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior,Robertson, ''Crimes against humanity'', 90. with its precise defi ...
investigation. In October 2022, the CMA ruled for a second time that Meta be required to divest Giphy, stating that Meta already controls half of the advertising in the UK. Meta agreed to the sale, though it stated that it disagrees with the decision itself. In November 2020, Facebook, Inc. announced that it planned to purchase the customer-service platform and chatbot specialist startup Kustomer to promote companies to use their platform for business. It has been reported that Kustomer valued at slightly over $1 billion. The deal was closed in February 2022 after regulatory approval. In September 2022, Meta acquired Lofelt, a Berlin-based haptic tech startup.


Lobbying

In 2020, Facebook, Inc. spent on
lobbying In politics, lobbying, persuasion or interest representation is the act of lawfully attempting to influence the actions, policies, or decisions of government officials, most often legislators or members of regulatory agency, regulatory agencie ...
, hiring 79 lobbyists. By 2019, it had spent on lobbying and had a team of 71 lobbyists, up from and 51 lobbyists in 2018. Facebook was the largest spender of lobbying money among the 5
Big Tech Big Tech, also known as the Tech Giants, refers to the most dominant companies in the information technology Information technology (IT) is the use of computers to create, process, store, retrieve, and exchange all kinds of Data (compu ...
companies in 2020.


Lawsuits

Numerous lawsuits have been filed against the company, both when it was known as Facebook, Inc., and as Meta Platforms. In March 2020, the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) sued Facebook, for significant and persistent infringements of the rule on privacy involving the Cambridge Analytica fiasco. Every violation of the Privacy Act is subject to a theoretical cumulative liability of $1.7 million. The OAIC estimated that a total of 311,127 Australians had been exposed. On December 8, 2020, the U.S.
Federal Trade Commission The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is an independent agency of the United States government whose principal mission is the enforcement of civil (non-criminal) antitrust law and the promotion of consumer protection. The FTC shares jurisdiction ...
and 46 states (excluding Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and South Dakota), the
District of Columbia ) , image_skyline = , image_caption = Clockwise from top left: the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall, United States Capitol, Logan Circle (Washington, D.C.), Logan Circle, Jefferson Memoria ...
and the territory of
Guam Guam (; ch, Guåhan ) is an Unincorporated territories of the United States, organized, unincorporated territory of the United States in the Micronesia subregion of the western Pacific Ocean. It is the List of extreme points of the United Stat ...
, launched '' Federal Trade Commission v. Facebook'' as an antitrust lawsuit against Facebook. The lawsuit concerns Facebook's acquisition of two competitors—
Instagram Instagram is a photo and video sharing social networking service owned by American company Meta Platforms. The app allows users to upload media that can be edited with Social media camera filter, filters and organized by hashtags and Geotaggi ...
and
WhatsApp WhatsApp (also called WhatsApp Messenger) is an internationally available freeware, cross-platform, Centralized computing, centralized instant messaging (IM) and Voice over IP, voice-over-IP (VoIP) service owned by American company Meta Platfor ...
—and the ensuing monopolistic situation. FTC alleges that Facebook holds monopolistic power in the US social networking market and seeks to force the company to divest from Instagram and WhatsApp to break up the conglomerate. William Kovacic, a former chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, argued the case will be difficult to win as it would require the government to create a counterfactual argument of an internet where the Facebook-WhatsApp-Instagram entity did not exist, and prove that harmed competition or consumers. On December 24, 2021, a court in Russia fined Meta for $27 million after the company declined to remove unspecified banned content. The fine was reportedly tied to the company's annual revenue in the country. In May 2022, a lawsuit was filed in Kenya against Meta and its local outsourcing company Sama. Allegedly, Meta has poor working conditions in Kenya for workers moderating Facebook posts. The lawsuit seeks financial compensation and an order that outsourced moderators be given the same health benefits and pay scale as Meta employees. In June 2022, 8 lawsuits were filed across the US over the allege that excessive exposure to platforms including Facebook and Instagram has let to attempted or actual suicides, eating disorders and sleeplessness, among other issues. The litigation follows a former Facebook employee's testimony in Congress that the company refused to take responsibility. The company noted that tools have been developed for parents to keep track of their children's activity on Instagram and set time limits in addition to Meta's "Take a break" reminders. In addition, the company is providing resources specific to eating disorders as well as developing AI to ensure that children under the age of 13 can't sign up for Facebook or Instagram. In June 2022, Meta settled a lawsuit with the
US Department of Justice The United States Department of Justice (DOJ), also known as the Justice Department, is a federal executive department of the United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) o ...
. The lawsuit, which was filed in 2019, alleged that the company enabled housing discrimination through targeted advertising, as it allowed home owners and landlords to run housing ads excluding people based on sex, race, religion, and other characteristics. The US Department of Justice stated that this was in violation of the
Fair Housing Act The Civil Rights Act of 1968 () is a Lists of landmark court decisions, landmark law in the United States signed into law by President of the United States, United States President Lyndon B. Johnson during the King assassination riots. Titles ...
. Meta was handed a penalty of $115,054 and given until December 31, 2022, to shadow the algorithm tool.


Structure


Management

Meta's key management consists of: *
Mark Zuckerberg Mark Elliot Zuckerberg (; born ) is an American business magnate, internet entrepreneur, and Philanthropy, philanthropist. He is known for co-founding the social media website Facebook and its parent company Meta Platforms (formerly Faceboo ...
,
chairman The chairperson, also chairman, chairwoman or chair, is the presiding officer of an organized group such as a board, committee, or deliberative assembly. The person holding the office, who is typically elected or appointed by members of the gr ...
and
chief executive officer A chief executive officer (CEO), also known as a central executive officer (CEO), chief administrator officer (CAO) or just chief executive (CE), is one of a number of Corporate Executive, corporate executives charged with the management of an or ...
* Javier Olivan,
chief operating officer A chief operating officer or chief operations officer, also called a COO, is one of the highest-ranking executive positions in an organization, composing part of the " C-suite". The COO is usually the second-in-command at the firm, especially if ...
*
Nick Clegg Sir Nicholas William Peter Clegg (born 7 January 1967) is a British media executive and former Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom who has been president for global affairs at Meta Platforms since 2022, having previously been vicepre ...
, president, global affairs * Susan Li,
chief financial officer The chief financial officer (CFO) is an Corporate title, officer of a company or organization that is assigned the primary responsibility for managing the company's finance, finances, including financial planning, management of financial risks, r ...
*
Andrew Bosworth Andrew "Boz" Bosworth is an American business executive who has been Chief technology officer, Chief Technology Officer of Meta Platforms, Meta since 2022. After graduating from Harvard University in 2004, he worked as a developer on Microsoft Vis ...
, chief technology officer * David Wehner, chief strategy officer * Chris Cox, chief product officer * Marne Levine, chief business officer * Jennifer Newstead,
chief legal officer A general counsel, also known as chief counsel or chief legal officer (CLO), is the chief in-house lawyer A lawyer is a person who practices law. The role of a lawyer varies greatly across different legal jurisdictions. A lawyer can be cla ...
, Meta had 83,553 employees worldwide.


Board of directors

As of January 2022, Meta's board consisted of the following directors; *
Mark Zuckerberg Mark Elliot Zuckerberg (; born ) is an American business magnate, internet entrepreneur, and Philanthropy, philanthropist. He is known for co-founding the social media website Facebook and its parent company Meta Platforms (formerly Faceboo ...
(chairman, founder and CEO) *
Sheryl Sandberg Sheryl Kara Sandberg (born August 28, 1969) is an American business executive, billionaire, and philanthropist. Sandberg served as chief operating officer (COO) of Meta Platforms, a position from which she stepped down in August 2022. She is als ...
(executive director and COO) * Peggy Alford (non-executive director, executive vice president, global sales,
PayPal PayPal Holdings, Inc. is an American multinational financial technology company operating an online payments system in the majority of countries that support E-commerce payment system, online money transfers, and serves as an electronic altern ...
) *
Marc Andreessen Marc Lowell Andreessen ( ; born July 9, 1971) is an American entrepreneur, investor, and software engineer. He is the co-author of Mosaic (web browser), Mosaic, the first widely used web browser; co-founder of Netscape; and co-founder and genera ...
(non-executive director, co-founder and general partner,
Andreessen Horowitz Andreessen Horowitz (also called a16z, legal name AH Capital Management, LLC) is a private American venture capital Venture capital (often abbreviated as VC) is a form of private equity financing that is provided by venture capital firms or ...
) * Drew Houston (non-executive director, chairman and CEO, Dropbox) * Nancy Killefer (non-executive director, senior partner,
McKinsey & Company McKinsey & Company is a global management consulting firm founded in 1926 by University of Chicago professor James O. McKinsey, that offers professional services to corporations, governments, and other organizations. McKinsey is the oldest and ...
) * Robert M. Kimmitt (non-executive director, senior international counsel, WilmerHale) *
Peter Thiel Peter Andreas Thiel (; born 11 October 1967) is a German-American billionaire entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and Activism, political activist. A co-founder of PayPal, Palantir Technologies, and Founders Fund, he was the first outside inves ...
(non-executive director, co-founder and former CEO,
PayPal PayPal Holdings, Inc. is an American multinational financial technology company operating an online payments system in the majority of countries that support E-commerce payment system, online money transfers, and serves as an electronic altern ...
, founder and president, Clarium Capital) * Tracey Travis (non-executive director, executive vice president, chief financial officer, Estée Lauder Companies) * Tony Xu (non-executive director, chairman and CEO, DoorDash)


Company governance

Early Facebook investor and former Zuckerberg mentor Roger McNamee described Facebook as having "the most centralized decision-making structure I have ever encountered in a large company." Nathan Schneider, a professor of media studies at the University of Colorado Boulder argued for transforming Facebook into a
platform cooperative A platform cooperative, or platform co-op, is a cooperatively owned, democratically governed business that establishes a computing platform, and uses a website, mobile app or a protocol to facilitate the sale of goods and services. Platform coopera ...
owned and governed by the users. Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes has stated that CEO Mark Zuckerberg has too much power, that the company is now a monopoly, and that, as a result, it should be split into multiple smaller companies. In an
op-ed An op-ed, short for "opposite the editorial page", is a written prose piece, typically published by a North-American newspaper or magazine, which expresses the opinion of an author usually not affiliated with the publication's editorial board. O ...
in ''The New York Times'', Hughes said he was concerned that Zuckerberg had surrounded himself with a team that did not challenge him, and that it is the U.S. government's job to hold him accountable and curb his "unchecked power". He also said that "Mark's power is unprecedented and un-American." Several U.S. politicians agreed with Hughes. European Union Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager stated that splitting Facebook should be done only as "a remedy of the very last resort", and that it would not solve Facebook's underlying problems.


Revenue

Facebook ranked No. 34 in the 2020
Fortune 500 The ''Fortune'' 500 is an annual list compiled and published by ''Fortune (magazine), Fortune'' magazine that ranks 500 of the largest United States Joint-stock company#Closely held corporations and publicly traded corporations, corporations by ...
list of the largest United States corporations by revenue, with almost $86 billion in revenue. Most comes from advertising. One analysis of 2017 data determined that the company earned per user from advertising. According to ''New York'', since its rebranding, Meta has reportedly lost $500 billion as a result of new privacy measures put in place by companies such as Apple and Google which prevents Meta from gathering users' data.


Number of advertisers

In February 2015, Facebook announced it had reached two million active advertisers, with most of the gain coming from small businesses. An active advertiser was defined as an entity that had advertised on the Facebook platform in the last 28 days. In March 2016, Facebook announced it had reached three million active advertisers with more than 70% from outside the United States. Prices for advertising follow a variable pricing model based on auctioning ad placements, and potential engagement levels of the advertisement itself. Similar to other online advertising platforms like Google and Twitter, targeting of advertisements is one of the chief merits of digital advertising compared to traditional media. Marketing on Meta is employed through two methods based on the viewing habits, likes and shares, and purchasing data of the audience, namely targeted audiences and "look alike" audiences.


Tax affairs

The US IRS challenged the valuation Facebook used when it transferred IP from the US to Facebook Ireland (now Meta Platforms Ireland) in 2010 (which Facebook Ireland then revalued higher before charging out), as it was building its
double Irish The Double Irish arrangement was a base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) corporate tax avoidance tool used mostly by United States multinationals since the late 1980s to avoid corporate taxation on non-U.S. profits. It was the largest tax ...
tax structure. The case is ongoing and Meta faces a potential fine of $3–5bn. The US
Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 The Act to provide for reconciliation pursuant to titles II and V of the concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal year 2018, , is a congressional revenue act of the United States originally introduced in Congress as the Tax Cuts and Jobs A ...
changed Facebook's global tax calculations. Meta Platforms Ireland is subject to the US GILTI tax of 10.5% on global intangible profits (i.e. Irish profits). On the basis that Meta Platforms Ireland Limited is paying some tax, the effective minimum US tax for Facebook Ireland will be circa 11%. In contrast, Meta Platforms Inc. would incur a special IP tax rate of 13.125% (the FDII rate) if its Irish business relocated to the US. Tax relief in the US (21% vs. Irish at the GILTI rate) and accelerated capital expensing, would make this effective US rate around 12%. The insignificance of the US/Irish tax difference was demonstrated when Facebook moved 1.5bn non-EU accounts to the US to limit exposure to
GDPR The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a European Union regulation on data protection and privacy in the EU and the European Economic Area (EEA). The GDPR is an important component of EU privacy law and of human rights law, in partic ...
.


Facilities


Offices

Users outside of the US and Canada contract with Meta's Irish subsidiary, Meta Platforms Ireland Limited (formerly ''Facebook Ireland Limited''), allowing Meta to avoid US taxes for all users in Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa and South America. Meta is making use of the
Double Irish arrangement The Double Irish arrangement was a base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) corporate tax avoidance tool used mostly by United States multinationals since the late 1980s to avoid corporate taxation on non-U.S. profits. It was the largest tax ...
which allows it to pay 2–3% corporation tax on all international revenue. In 2010, Facebook opened its fourth office, in
Hyderabad Hyderabad ( ; , ) is the capital and largest city of the Indian state of Telangana Telangana (; , ) is a States and union territories of India, state in India situated on the south-central stretch of the Indian subcontinent, Indian pen ...
, India, which houses online advertising and developer support teams and provides support to users and advertisers. In India, Meta is registered as Facebook India Online Services Pvt Ltd. It also has support centers in
Chittagong Chittagong ( /ˈtʃɪt əˌɡɒŋ/ ''chit-uh-gong''; ctg, চিটাং; bn, চিটাগং), officially Chattogram ( bn, চট্টগ্রাম), is the second-largest city in Bangladesh Bangladesh (}, ), officially ...
;
Dublin Dublin (; , or ) is the capital and largest city of Republic of Ireland, Ireland. On a bay at the mouth of the River Liffey, it is in the Provinces of Ireland, province of Leinster, bordered on the south by the Dublin Mountains, a part of th ...
;
California California is a U.S. state, state in the Western United States, located along the West Coast of the United States, Pacific Coast. With nearly 39.2million residents across a total area of approximately , it is the List of states and territori ...
;
Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic Ocean, in Northwestern Europe, north-western Europe. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel (Grea ...
; and
Austin, Texas Austin is the capital city of the U.S. state of Texas, as well as the county seat, seat and largest city of Travis County, Texas, Travis County, with portions extending into Hays County, Texas, Hays and Williamson County, Texas, Williamson co ...
. Facebook opened its London headquarters in 2017 in Fitzrovia in
central London Central London is the innermost part of London, in England, spanning several London borough, boroughs. Over time, a number of definitions have been used to define the scope of Central London for statistics, urban planning and local government. ...
. Facebook opened an office in
Cambridge, Massachusetts Cambridge ( ) is a city in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States. As part of the Greater Boston, Boston metropolitan area, the cities population of the 2020 United States Census, 2020 U.S. census was 118,403, making it the fourth most ...
in 2018. The offices were initially home to the "Connectivity Lab", a group focused on bringing Internet access to those who do not have access to the Internet. In April 2019, Facebook opened its
Taiwan Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a Country, country in East Asia, at the junction of the East China Sea, East and South China Seas in the northwestern Pacific Ocean, with the China, People's Republic of China (PRC) to the n ...
headquarters in
Taipei Taipei (), officially Taipei City, is the Capital city, capital and a Special municipality (Taiwan), special municipality of the Taiwan, Republic of China (Taiwan). Located in Regions of Taiwan, Northern Taiwan, Taipei City is an enclave of t ...
. In March 2022, Meta opened new regional headquarters in
Dubai Dubai (, ; ar, wikt:دبي, دبي, translit=Dubayy, , ) is the List of cities in the United Arab Emirates#Major cities, most populous city in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the capital of the Emirate of Dubai, the most populated of the 7 ...
. File:Meta Platforms Headquarters Menlo Park California.jpg, Entrance to Meta's headquarters complex in
Menlo Park, California Menlo Park is a city at the eastern edge of San Mateo County, California, San Mateo County within the San Francisco Bay Area of California in the United States. It is bordered by San Francisco Bay on the north and east; East Palo Alto, Californ ...
File:1601californiaavelobby.jpg, Entrance to Facebook's previous headquarters in the Stanford Research Park,
Palo Alto Palo Alto (; Spanish language, Spanish for "tall stick") is a charter city in the northwestern corner of Santa Clara County, California, United States, in the San Francisco Bay Area, named after a Sequoia sempervirens, coastal redwood tree kno ...
,
California California is a U.S. state, state in the Western United States, located along the West Coast of the United States, Pacific Coast. With nearly 39.2million residents across a total area of approximately , it is the List of states and territori ...
File:Inside the Facebook campus.jpg, Inside the Facebook headquarters in 2014


Data centers

As of 2019, Facebook operated 16 data centers. It committed to purchase 100% renewable energy and to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions 75% by 2020. Its data center technologies include Fabric Aggregator, a distributed network system that accommodates larger regions and varied traffic patterns.


Reception

US Representative
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (; ; born October 13, 1989), also known by her initials AOC, is an American politician and activist. She has served as the United States House of Representatives, U.S. representative for New York's 14th congressiona ...
responded in a tweet to Zuckerberg's announcement about Meta, saying: "Meta as in 'we are a cancer to democracy metastasizing into a global surveillance and propaganda machine for boosting authoritarian regimes and destroying civil society ... for profit! Ex-Facebook employee Frances Haugen and whistleblower behind the Facebook Papers responded to the rebranding efforts by expressing doubts about the company's ability to improve while led by Mark Zuckerberg, and urged the CEO to resign. In November 2021, a video published by Inspired by Iceland went viral, in which a Zuckerberg look-alike promoted the Icelandverse, a place of "enhanced actual reality without silly looking headsets". In a December 2021 interview, SpaceX and Tesla CEO
Elon Musk Elon Reeve Musk ( ; born June 28, 1971) is a business magnate and investor. He is the founder, CEO and chief engineer of SpaceX; angel investor, CEO and product architect of Tesla, Inc.; owner and CEO of Twitter, Inc.; founder of The Borin ...
said he could not see a compelling use-case for the VR-driven metaverse, adding: "I don't see someone strapping a frigging screen to their face all day." In January 2022, Louise Eccles of ''
The Sunday Times ''The Sunday Times'' is a British newspaper whose circulation makes it the largest in Britain's quality press market category. It was founded in 1821 as ''The New Observer''. It is published by Times Newspapers Ltd, a subsidiary of News UK, whi ...
'' logged into the metaverse with the intention of making a video guide. She wrote: Eccles described being sexually harassed by another user, as well as "accents from all over the world, American, Indian, English, Australian, using racist, sexist, homophobic and transphobic language". She also encountered users as young as 7 years old on the platform, despite Oculus headsets being intended for users over 13.


See also

*
Big Tech Big Tech, also known as the Tech Giants, refers to the most dominant companies in the information technology Information technology (IT) is the use of computers to create, process, store, retrieve, and exchange all kinds of Data (compu ...
* Criticism of Facebook *
Facebook–Cambridge Analytica data scandal In the 2010s, personal data belonging to millions of Facebook users was collected without their consent by British consulting firm Cambridge Analytica, predominantly to be used for Campaign advertising, political advertising. The data was collec ...
* 2021 Facebook leak * Meta AI *'' The Social Network''


References


External links

* * {{Coord, 37, 29, 06, N, 122, 08, 54, W, type:landmark_region:US-CA, display=title 2004 establishments in Massachusetts 2012 initial public offerings American companies established in 2004 Companies based in Menlo Park, California Companies in the Nasdaq-100 Companies in the PRISM network Companies listed on the Nasdaq Multinational companies headquartered in the United States Social media companies of the United States Software companies based in the San Francisco Bay Area Technology companies based in the San Francisco Bay Area Technology companies established in 2004 Virtual reality companies