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46 State Attorneys General Sue to Break Up Facebook

Social media giant accused of using its dominance to crush the competition
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 9, 2020 3:52 PM CST

(Newser) – When it comes to taking on Facebook, bipartisanship is alive and well. Attorneys general from 46 states, along with Guam and Washington, DC, filed an antitrust against the social media giant Wednesday, accusing it of using its dominance to crush competition, NPR reports. The lawsuit is being led by New York AG Leticia James. "Today, we are taking action to stand up for the millions of consumers and many small businesses that have been harmed by Facebook’s illegal behavior," she said Wednesday, per Deadline. "Instead of competing on the merits, Facebook used its power to suppress competition so it could take advantage of users and make billions by converting personal data into a cash cow."

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The attorneys general accused Facebook of stifling competition by acquiring rivals and called for the acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp to be unwound, the New York Times reports. They also called for the company to be blocked from making acquisitions of more than $10 million during what is expected to be a lengthy legal battle. Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and South Dakota are the only states not taking part in the lawsuit. The Federal Trade Commission also filed a lawsuit Wednesday seeking a federal injunction to force Facebook to divest itself of assets including Instagram and WhatsApp, among other measures. "Our aim is to roll back Facebook’s anticompetitive conduct and restore competition so that innovation and free competition can thrive," says Ian Conner, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition. (Read more Facebook stories.)

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