US government together with dozens of states has filed a lawsuit against social media giant Facebook for dominance in the digital marketplace and anticompetitive behavior.
The federal trade commission appealed to the federal court for a permanent injunction to disband Facebook’s company assests which comprises of Instagram and WhatsApp. The states demanded that the company be shut down if necessary.
Issuing a public statement, the Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition Dr. Ian Conner said:
“Personal social networking is central to the lives of millions of Americans, Facebook’s actions to entrench and maintain its monopoly deny consumers the benefits of competition. Our aim is to roll back Facebook’s anticompetitive conduct and restore competition so that innovation and free competition can thrive.”
The New York attorney general Letitia James led a squad of attorneys in investigating Facebook for potential anticompetitive practices. Speaking at a press conference, she declared that The FTC has been conducting its own antitrust investigation of Facebook since June 2019.
“For nearly a decade, Facebook has used its dominance and monopoly power to crush smaller rivals and snuff out competition, By using its vast troves of data and money, Facebook has squashed or hindered what the company perceived to be potential threats.”
The FTC’s complaints notified that the $1 billion acquisition of Instagram in 2012 and the $19 Billion purchase of WhatsApp two years later by Facebook was aimed at bullying other smaller rivals out of competition and dominating the digital marketplace.
The VP and General counsel at Facebook Jennifer Newstead released a statement defending the company’s assets, asserting that the company’s acquisition of multiple assets is legal and aimed at satisfying the interests of it’s users.
“The most important fact in this case, which the Commission does not mention in its 53-page complaint, is that it cleared these acquisitions years ago, The government now wants a do-over, sending a chilling warning to American business that no sale is ever final.”
“People and small businesses don’t choose to use Facebook’s free services and advertising because they have to, they use them because our apps and services deliver the most value,” Newstead added. “We are going to vigorously defend people’s ability to continue making that choice.”