UPDATE: Facebook is now being sued by the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC, along with more than 40 states, is accusing Facebook of establishing an illegal monopoly by buying up rival companies and hindering those it cannot acquire. According to NBC News, the suit filed today asks a federal court to force sell-off of companies like Instagram and WhatsApp.
“Facebook has maintained its monopoly position by buying up companies that present competitive threats and by imposing restrictive policies that unjustifiably hinder actual or potential rivals that Facebook does not or cannot acquire,” the commission said in the lawsuit, filed in Washington, D.C. The lawsuit asks the court to order the “divestiture of assets, divestiture or reconstruction of businesses (including, but not limited to, Instagram and/or WhatsApp),” as well as other possible relief the court may choose to add.
“For nearly a decade, Facebook has used its dominance and monopoly power to crush smaller rivals and snuff out competition, all at the expense of everyday users,” said Attorney General Letitia James of New York. She also alleges that the company has been surveilling users and profiting from it.