Daily Management Review

Ex-Facebook Board Member Says Chinese Firms To Benefit From Over-Regulating Google & Facebook


Ex-Facebook Board Member Says Chinese Firms To Benefit From Over-Regulating Google & Facebook
Chinese tech companies would take centre stage at the global level if American tech companies such as Facebook and Google are subjected to too much of regulations thereby restricting them and their business activities that help them ot dominate the global tech scene, opined Donald Graham, a former Facebook board member, during a television interview.
“Those companies have competitors,” said Graham, who is also the chairman of Graham Holdings Company and a former publisher of The Washington Post during the television interview. “Those competitors are Chinese. And if Facebook and Google are hobbled by regulations, the world leadership in tech is going to be handed to Chinese companies, and I don’t think that will be very good for your privacy,” he added.
The relationship between the United States and some of the Chinese tech companies, which includes the Chinese smartphopne and telecom equipment maker Huawei and ZTE, have already been soured because of privacy and spying allegations brought by the US against the companies. Huawei was also subjected to two criminal law suits in the US by the government there over issues related to trade secrets theft and wire fraud in January this year.
And now Facebook has also announced that it is expecting to be facing a fine to be imposed by the Federal Trade Commission to the tune of up to $5 billion. The fine is related to charges brought against the largest social media company of the world about the violation of a 2011 agreement by it and surrounding its privacy policy.  In anticipation for a potential fine from the regulator, Facebook announced taking of a onetime charge of $3 billion during its earnings report last month.
Many experts estimate that the fine would be to tune of $5 billion, even though Facebook said “the matter remains unresolved,.
If such a huge fine is imposed against Facebook, it would dwarf the record $22.5 million fine the FTC slapped on Google in 2012. Google was slapped the fine over charges of violation of an agreement to improve privacy practices.
“I think even regulating them to the extent that everybody’s now talking about, I think it’d be very bad for the country,” Graham said in the interview. “I think that it’s very likely to happen. I think the best thing that Google and Facebook have going for them is that not much gets done in Washington.”
According to media reports published recently, it is likely that Facebook and FTC are close to a deal. Facebook has agreed to allow the regulators to conduct more oversight of its data collection, reported The Washington Post on Friday. The report also claimed that such an agreement would possibly include checkups from a third-party watchdog that would be approved by the agency.
There have been no comments from both the FTC and Facebook.