New research shows that Facebook (FB) owns four of the five most-downloaded apps on iOS and Android last month — Facebook Messenger, core Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram.
The research from Evercore ISI came out on July 10, just about two weeks before Department of Justice officials said they opened a review of antitrust concerns associated with major technology companies.
In total, the four high-performing Facebook-owned apps were downloaded 205.86 million times last month, according to the data provided by Evercore ISI.
Facebook released second quarter earnings on Wednesday that bested analyst expectations for revenue and daily active users. The company’s shares rose in after-hours trading, even though Facebook also revealed that the Federal Trade Commission had opened an investigation into the company.
“Facebook is the dominant mobile app publisher,” said Kevin Rippey, a financial analyst at Evercore ISI and co-author of the report. “Nothing we’re seeing on the immediate horizon would suggest these trends will change.”
TikTok, a social media video app popular with young people, was the lone app among the top five not owned by Facebook. In this political climate, the DOJ would not permit Facebook to acquire TikTok, Rippey said.
“Acquisitions of any size will be very challenging going forward,” he added.
‘Not evidence of antitrust behavior’
Rippey said the large presence of Facebook in the app sector does not suggest the company has violated antitrust rules.
“When you think through U.S. antitrust law, market dominance in and of itself is not evidence of antitrust behavior,” Rippey said.
On Wednesday, the federal government made public the resolution of a pair of investigations into the company. Facebook has been fined $5 billion by the FTC to settle an inquiry over the company’s privacy practices, the agency announced on Wednesday.