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The United States Federal Trade Commission today teamed up 46 states, the District of Columbia, and the territory of Guam to sue Facebook for maintaining an illegal social networking monopoly through years of anticompetitive conduct.

facebook.jpg

Facebook is accused of engaging in a "systematic strategy" to eliminate threats to its monopoly, which included the 2012 acquisition of Instagram and the 2014 acquisition of WhatsApp. Facebook's actions have harmed competition, left consumers with few choices for personal social networking, and deprived advertisers of the benefits of competition.

The FTC is aiming for a permanent injunction that would require the divestitures of assets that include Instagram and WhatsApp, which would mean Facebook would be forced to sell the two social networks. Facebook would also be prohibited from imposing anticompetitive conditions on software developers and it would need government approval for future mergers and acquisitions.
"Personal social networking is central to the lives of millions of Americans," said Ian Conner, Director of the FTC's Bureau of Competition. "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 complaint says that while Facebook initially attempted to compete with Instagram, it ultimately chose to purchase Instagram instead, neutralizing the threat and making it hard for another social networking competitor to gain scale. Facebook's leadership also allegedly understood and feared that a successful mobile messaging app like WhatsApp could enter the social networking market, which is why it pursued the WhatsApp acquisition.

According to the FTC, Facebook's dominance in social networking has provided it with "staggering profits," including revenue of more than $70 billion and profits of more than $18.5 billion in 2019. Facebook has been under investigation for more than a year, with that investigation culminating in the lawsuits filed today.

Note: Due to the political or social nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Political News forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Article Link: FTC Accuses Facebook of Social Media Monopoly, Calls for Divestiture of Instagram and WhatsApp
 
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jclo

Editor
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Dec 7, 2012
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California
Finally something bipartisan.

By the way, 48 states sued Facebook, not 45.

"more than"
Article is incorrect. It is 46 states.
It says "more than 45," which should be correct. Saw reports with different numbers.

Edit: I've now had the time to go count in the state lawsuit, it's 46 states, DC, and Guam. Article has been updated with the exact info.

From the lawsuit: "Plaintiff States are Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, the territory of Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming."
 
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Cosmosent

macrumors 68020
Apr 20, 2016
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La Jolla, CA
I watched the first few minutes of the Press Conference on CNBC.

I could NOT believe how Clueless she is !

She knows absolutely nothing about the early history of Instagram & WhatsApp !

I was totally shocked by what she said !

She is completely Clueless on the subject, yet that is NOT stopping her !

NOT a fan of Facebook, but her Facts are ALL wrong !
 

dannyyankou

macrumors G4
Mar 2, 2012
10,794
21,475
Westchester, NY
Wrong. 46 states (and the article has been updated to say "more than 45").
The confusion is that some articles are saying just states, others are saying “states and districts”.


 

Apple Freak

macrumors regular
May 22, 2009
162
192
I watched the first few minutes of the Press Conference on CNBC.

I could NOT believe how Clueless she is !

She knows absolutely nothing about the early history of Instagram & WhatsApp !

I was totally shocked by what she said !

She is completely Clueless on the subject, yet that is NOT stopping her !

NOT a fan of Facebook, but her Facts are ALL wrong !
Link please...
 
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