A group of 48 U.S. attorneys general led by New York filed an antitrust lawsuit against Facebook (FB) on Wednesday, alleging Facebook is violating antitrust law by buying up competitors in order to operate an illegal monopoly. Facebook is also accused of depriving consumers of alternatives that would be more protective of their privacy. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission filed a separate suit alleging antitrust violations.
At the heart of the allegations are claims that Facebook’s acquisitions of Instagram in 2012 for $1 billion and WhatsApp in 2014 for $19 billion, as well as other smaller technology companies, were carried out in order to quash competition. As part of its lawsuit, the FTC wants to force Facebook to sell both Instagram and WhatsApp.
Facebook is the largest social network in the world with 2.6 billion monthly active users across its four apps: Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp.
“No company should have this much unchecked power over our personal information and our social interactions and that’s why we are taking action today and standing up for the millions of consumers and millions of small businesses that have been hurt by Facebook’s illegal behavior,” New York Attorney General Letitia James said on Wednesday.
States argue the company’s past business maneuvers are legally problematic because they’ve swelled Facebook’s overall user base so significantly that the company holds anticompetitive sway over the e-commerce market.
The states are asking the court to find that Facebook has violated antitrust law by acquiring WhatsApp and Instagram and to bar it from buying any other companies worth more than $10 million without notifying the states first.
MacDailyNews Take: The Facebook monopoly is in trouble.
Sometimes that shark, he looks right into ya. Right into your eyes. Y’know the thing about a shark, he’s got… lifeless eyes, black eyes, like a doll’s eyes. When he comes at ya, doesn’t seem to be livin’… until he bites ya. And those black eyes roll over white, and then… oh, then you hear that terrible high-pitch screamin’, the ocean turns red, and spite of all the poundin’ and the hollerin’, they all come in and they… rip you to pieces. – Sam Quint, Jaws
We haven’t had personal FaceBook accounts for many years now. And happily so. — MacDailyNews, May 11, 2017
Beyond the privacy aspect, Facebook is Creepster Central. It’s a Narcissists’ Paradise. In general, yuck. — MacDailyNews, March 27, 2015