Facebook Sued by FTC and U.S States For Alleged Antitrust Abuse

Facebook is gearing up to fight against two lawsuits separately filed against them by more than 40 U.S States and the Federal Trade Commission for alleged antitrust abuse. The case, filed on Wednesday, charges the social media giant of using unfair tactics to crush potential competitors, which also stemmed from the acquisition of Instagram in 2012 and WhatsApp in 2014. The twin lawsuits are the result of month-long investigations by FTC and the alliance of the states. Facebook is expected to fight hard to maintain its online power.

Read: 40 U.S States Plan to File a Lawsuit Against Facebook Next Week

The Guardian: The lawsuits brought against Facebook on Wednesday accuse the company of wielding its “monopoly power” to crush and overwhelm its rivals.

Screenshot by The Guardian

According to The Guardian, the lawsuit against Facebook by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and 48 attorneys general is being heralded by some analysts as an unprecedented move, and one that’s long overdue. But there’s still a long way to go, especially as the lawsuits could take years to litigate.

The attacks against Facebook come in the form of twin lawsuits, one brought by the FTC and another brought by a coalition of states. They accuse Facebook of creating and holding on to a monopoly in its market, with a sprawling network of acquisitions that were intentionally anticompetitive, and strategically shut out software developers that could have grown into competitors. With its monopoly, consumers were not only left without broader engagement options, but were also pushed into accepting Facebook’s now notorious privacy issues.

The lawsuits represent the biggest antitrust cases in a generation, comparable to the lawsuit against Microsoft Corp in 1998. 

CNN: According to the state suit, Facebook’s alleged misconduct has resulted in consumers being harmed.

Screenshot from CNN

CNN revealed that the Federal Trade Commission, in particular, is seeking a permanent injunction in federal court that could, among other things, require the company to divest assets, including Instagram and WhatsApp, effectively breaking up Facebook as we know it. The states are also calling for the company to be broken up, if necessary.

According to the state suit, Facebook’s alleged misconduct has resulted in consumers being harmed. Internet users have fewer choices among social media platforms and poorer experiences, the complaint said, while the tech industry has suffered from “reduced investment in potentially competing services.”