40+ states joining antitrust lawsuit against Facebook
By Cassie B. // Dec 05, 2020

An antitrust lawsuit against Facebook led by New York that is expected to be filed as soon as next week has attracted more than 40 other states, all of whom are concerned about the actions of the social media giant.


Reuters was the first to report on the impending suit, citing unnamed sources and the states involved were not named.

The specific antitrust violations that will be included are also unknown, but one of the most common allegations is the way Facebook has bought out small potential rivals at high prices in order to assert its control over the social media market. This was the case with its purchase of Instagram in 2012 and WhatsApp two years later.

Experts have theorized that Facebook may try to argue their acquisitions of the two platforms were not anti-competitive because they were not considered their competitors at the time of the acquisition, but there is a possibility that Facebook could end up having to divest the two companies.

The social media platform is also being pressured by Congress, particularly when it comes to their censorship of conservative viewpoints. However, criticism is coming from both sides of the aisle; Democrats are accusing them of helping spread fake and misleading information.

Former chairman of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), William Kovacic, said that authorities will likely feel confident investigating the matter given the bipartisan nature of the complaints against them.

At the same time, the FTC is reportedly getting ready to file its own antitrust lawsuit against Facebook, although it is not known whether they will bring it before its administrative law judge or present it in federal court.

Several agencies investigating Facebook

Facebook has been under investigation by the FTC and state attorneys general since last year. The House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust released documents this summer from its own probe into Facebook that showed Facebook felt threatened by Instagram’s growth before the controversial sale and that the co-founder of Instagram was worried that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg would “go into destroy mode” should he refuse to sell his company to him.

The subcommittee issued a 449-page report that concluded that Big Tech – specifically Facebook, Google, Amazon and Apple – presented a grave threat to markets that could warrant breaking them up and placing limits on their acquisitions.

Google is also facing an antitrust lawsuit from the Department of Justice accusing them of keeping “unlawful monopolies” in their search and advertising businesses. The suit argued for the need to "restrain Google from unlawfully maintaining monopolies in the markets for general search services, search advertising, and general search text advertising in the United States through anticompetitive and exclusionary practices, and to remedy the effects of this conduct."

Last week, the UK government announced its plans to create a new Digital Markets Unit aimed at scrutinizing platforms like Facebook and Google. The antitrust unit will fall under their Competition and Markets Authority, which has been seeking greater power to rein in the big digital advertising platforms. It plans to enforce a new code that will ensure consumers, news publishers and small businesses are not put at a disadvantage by the tech giants’ actions and practices.

Facebook also taking heat for anti-conservative bias

Facebook's reputation is also taking a big hit thanks to its ongoing active censorship of conservative points of view. Employees have been caught on hidden camera footage admitting to deliberate political bias and censoring Trump supporters, in addition to discriminating against white male employees and conservatives.

One Facebook employee admitted, “We rig the game so it can work on the left side,” and said the firm favors the left “100%”.

With so many states joining in the suit against Facebook, we can only hope that they will soon be held accountable for all of their practices – and that more people will wake up and abandon the platform altogether.

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