Meta came after smaller companies like Dispo to back it up in an antitrust case

Meta has been caught up in the antitrust chaos for years now, so the company decided to try a new tactic: bullying smaller competitors with subpoenas. Some of these companies, like photo-sharing app Dispo, have just 25 employees and nowhere near enough manpower to fight court cases with Big Tech.

Dispo’s subpoena includes 36 individual requests for internal documentation, Tech Crunch reports, ranging from detailed user metrics to consumer privacy requests. The subpoena was received on March 23, just as Meta also began issuing subpoenas to larger tech companies.

Meta’s subpoenas are, by all accounts, quite extensive, requiring companies to extract thousands, if not millions, of documents. Last month, a group of Big Tech companies including Twitter, Reddit, Snap and LinkedIn filed a complaint with a federal judge to limit Meta’s access to these documents.

Meta’s aggressive strategy could easily backfire; a significant part of the pending antitrust case against the company focuses on Meta’s penchant for bullying tactics.

Not a competitor — That Meta subpoenaed Big Tech companies was pretty ridiculous; to hear that the same thing is happening with much smaller companies is just disappointing.

“We have 25 employees and no lawyers on staff. Demanding our most sensitive trade secrets is foreign to the legal issue being debated,” said Dispo co-founder and CEO Daniel Liss. He thinks Dispo was targeted to throw piles of documents at the company.

Liss is certain that Dispo is nowhere near big enough to be considered a competitor with Meta properties. Although Dispo had a big moment in the cultural zeitgeist in early 2021, the app quickly fell out of favor with the public and investors after co-founder David Dobrik got caught up in an assault controversy. sexual. Today, it has less than 6 million total downloads and is worth around $25 million. Small fries, compared to Meta’s nearly $600 market cap.

Clinging to straws – Meta and other Big Tech companies like Google are coming under vastly increased scrutiny over whether or not their growth can be considered monopolization. After many years of buying up all their competitors, government regulators are finally waking up to the immense power of these companies.

It’s no surprise, given Meta’s usual MO, that the company has decided to try new underhanded tactics that hurt other companies in pursuit of its goals. Dispo has asked Meta to withdraw his subpoena, though it seems unlikely the company will do so unless a court orders it.

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