Given all these hurdles, will break-ups ever happen? Sector-wide divestitures seem unlikely, but even Makan Delrahim, head of the Department of Justice’s antitrust division, said on October 22nd that they are “perfectly on the table”. Amazon looks vulnerable. It is disrupting many industries and creating many enemies. A line-of-business prohibition seems a relatively easy sell politically. The most likely victim is Facebook. Privacy scandals and its role in distributing misinformation have made the firm a target for both Democrats and Republicans.
考虑到所有这些障碍，分裂还会发生吗？全行业范围内的资产剥离似乎不太可能，但就连美国司法部反垄断部门的负责人马坎•德尔拉希姆也在10月22日表示，“完全可以考虑” 。亚马逊看上去相当脆弱 。它扰乱了许多行业，树敌众多 。在政治上，禁止某些行业似乎相对容易 。最有可能的受害者是Facebook 。隐私丑闻和它在传播错误信息方面的角色使该公司成为民主党和共和党的攻击目标 。
The case against Facebook is relatively easy to make. Scott Hemphill and Tim Wu, two legal scholars based in New York, have already started advancing it. Backed up by Chris Hughes, a co-founder of Facebook now turned critic of the firm, they have been giving presentations to regulators explaining that “available evidence indicates that as of 2010, Facebook launched a programme of serial defensive acquisitions in order to maintain its dominance.”
针对Facebook的案例相对容易处理 。斯科特•亨菲尔和蒂姆•吴是纽约的两名法律学者，他们已经开始推进这一计划 。在Facebook联合创始人克里斯•休斯的支持下，他们向监管机构提交了报告，解释称“现有证据表明，自2010年起，Facebook启动了一系列防御性收购计划，以保持其主导地位 。”
Legal arguments notwithstanding, it will be hard to unscramble the eggs. WhatsApp is still a separate entity but Instagram is not. It uses the same advertising platform as Facebook’s social network. And the firm is busy tying its biggest services together even more tightly by merging their address books. Facebook subscribers will at some point be able to send messages on WhatsApp. The goal, the firm says, is to make life easier for users. Critics argue that the aim is to make divestiture more difficult. To avoid “irreparable harm”, Messrs Hemphill and Wu call on regulators to ask for a preliminary injunction that would put an end to the integration work.
尽管存在法律上的争议，但要解读这些鸡蛋是很困难的 。WhatsApp仍然是一个独立的实体，但Instagram不是 。它使用与Facebook的社交网络相同的广告平台 。该公司正忙着通过合并他们的地址簿将其最大的服务更紧密地捆绑在一起 。Facebook的用户有朝一日将能够在WhatsApp上发送信息 。该公司表示，其目标是让用户的生活更轻松 。批评者认为，这样做的目的是让资产剥离变得更加困难 。为了避免“不可挽回的伤害”，亨菲尔和吴呼吁监管机构申请初步禁令，终止整合工作 。
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s boss, knows that he has a target on his back. If Ms Warren were elected president, he recently told staff, “then I would bet that we will have a legal challenge.” He would also bet that he would win, he added. Mr Zuckerberg may want to read up on the history of Standard Oil. Rockefeller thought so too— until it was too late.
Facebook的老板马克·扎克伯格知道自己背后有目标 。他最近告诉员工，如果沃伦当选总统，“那么我敢打赌，我们将面临法律挑战 。” 他还说，他还会赌自己会赢 。扎克伯格可能想了解一下标准石油公司的历史 。洛克菲勒也这么认为，但为时已晚 。