The Federal Trade Commission and 48 states are calling Facebook an illegal monopoly, claiming the company engaged in anti-competitive activity in its acquisition of WhatsApp and Instagram. The case has the potential to break up Facebook, reports Ad Age.

According to Ad Age, on Thursday, “the federal regulatory body delivered the highly anticipated case against Facebook, which has been under scrutiny for more than a year by regulators and lawmakers across the U.S. “Personal social networking is central to the lives of millions of Americans,” said Ian Conner, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition, in the announcement. “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 FTC is seeking a permanent injunction in federal court that could, among other things: require divestitures of assets, including Instagram and WhatsApp; prohibit Facebook from imposing anticompetitive conditions on software developers; and require Facebook to seek prior notice and approval for future mergers and acquisitions,” the complaint said.

More here.

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