Facebook Inc users had been sending their opinion about net neutrality and sharing their comments on differential pricing issue through email to TRAI, but those emails are not reaching them. Facebook claims someone there has blocked emails from its websites.
Facebook hints foul play
A report from IBN, citing sources, inform that Facebook sent a letter to regulator saying, “Despite clear and timely efforts by millions of Indians to send their comments, someone with access to designated TRAI email account appears to have blocked receipt of all emails from Facebook to that TRAI account.”
The US firm said that during its query it found that an individual, who was designated to accept comments, with access to the TRAI email account took an action on December 17 at 5:51:53 GMT that led to blocking Facebook from delivering any additional email to that address.
Facebook’s free Internet platform – Free Basics – has faced criticism in India from Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), and to defend this, the US firm launched a public campaign. Facebook came up with this campaign in response to a consultation paper that TRAI floated on the regulatory framework for differential pricing for data services.
Facebook Inc fears its Free Basics platform, which allows access to some websites and apps, may be blocked by the regulators. For this reason, the firm launched a massive campaign to gather support in its favor. Earlier December 30 was the last date for public comments on TRAI paper, but it was extended to January 7 later. TRAI’s data revealed that until January 7, it received around 2.4m comments.
Google planning to hurt Facebook’s revenue
Separately, there is another bad news for Facebook. Google (now Alphabet) and Facebook have been waging the battle for online dominance for several years, and now the latest arena in it are the mobile app installations. Alphabet is allowing some Android users to download apps directly from search results, thus, eliminating the need to visit the Google Play app store.
Alphabet has not rolled out the capability to all users yet, but the move definitely suggests that one of Facebook’s fastest-growing businesses is at risk. Facebook Inc launched mobile app install ads long back to make discovery and download of new apps easier for the users. App install ads appear directly on Facebook users’ newsfeeds, providing them with a link to quickly install a new mobile app.
Such ads area of a huge help for the app developers, who are constantly looking for ways to drive downloads and make their apps stand apart from crowd. Now, if downloading apps is made easier by Alphabet, by allowing direct download through its web search engine, then they will be less likely to pay for Facebook’s ads, says a report from BI.
At 11.05 am EST, Facebook shares were down 5.34% at $90.30. Year to date, the stock is down almost 14% while in the last one-month, it is down over 13%. The stock has a 52-week high of $110.65 and a 52-week low of $72.