Snapchat’s Facebook no-no file called Project Voldemort

Chris Burns - Sep 23, 2019, 4:46pm CDT
Snapchat’s Facebook no-no file called Project Voldemort

Facebook’s history of attempts to acquire and/or overcome Snapchat have reportedly appeared in a file created by Snap called “Project Voldemort.” Neither of the companies have made this document official, and all sources have remained anonymous in their efforts to make this document known. The files paint Facebook as the enemy of the modern world courtesy of a character from J.K. Rowling’s global blockbuster book series: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

This document was revealed by sources speaking with The Wall Street Journal suggest that “a number of Facebook’s current and former competitors are talking about the company’s hardball tactics to investigators. They speak of Facebook’s pair of acquisition attempts for Snapchat in 2013, then another in 2016, followed by a series of clones of features.

You can see part of this saga unfold back in June of 2015 after Facebook’s first attempt in 2013. There it became clear that Facebook was “borrowing” Snapchat features left and right. You can see the original double-down rebuff in November of 2013.

It was reported then that Facebook first attempted to acquire Snapchat for just over $1-billion USD. The second attempt was reportedly closer to $3-billion. On March 2, 2017, Snapchat’s parent company Snap went public – their IPO resulted in a market capitalization of about $33 billion – where Twitter’s market cap was close to $11 billion and Facebook’s was about $395 billion (again, back in March of 2017).

On March 28, 2017, Facebook Stories essentially turned Facebook into Snapchat – without the brand name. Per the Wall Street Journal, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg at some point (likely in the year 2013) “met with the founders of startups” including Snap chief executive Evan Spiegel, and “presented them with two scenarios: either they accept the price he was offering for their companies, or face Facebook’s efforts to copy their products and make operating more difficult.”

Facebook, Amazon, Google, and Apple are all part of an antitrust probe on the part of the US House Committee on The Judiciary. The document that called for information on these companies (and from these companies) was called the “Competition in Digital Markets Document Request 9.13.19.” Facebook is also part of an ongoing investigation by the FTC of which you should definitely be aware.

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