US sues Fb for ‘abusing market energy to crush rivals’

Washington, December 10

The US government and 48 states have filed parallel antitrust lawsuits against Facebook, accusing the social media giant of anti-competitive conduct by abusing its market power to create a monopoly and crushing smaller competitors, a move which may force it to sell WhatsApp and Instagram.

Soon after the move of the Federal Trade Commission and 48 state attorney generals, Facebook’s shares dropped significantly.

The bipartisan coalition led by New York attorney general Letitia James said Facebook has engaged in a systematic strategy to eliminate threats to its monopoly. This includes its 2012 acquisition of up-and-coming rival Instagram, its 2014 acquisition of the mobile messaging app WhatsApp and the imposition of anti-competitive conditions on software developers.

Opposing the lawsuit, Jennifer Newstead, vice president and general counsel of Facebook, described it as revisionist history. — PTI

Charge rubbished

  • Opposing the lawsuit, Facebook described it as revisionist history
  • The lawsuit accuses it of leaving consumers with few choices and depriving advertisers of the benefits of competition

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