Facebook risks being charged with abuse of dominant position by 40 US states

Facebook risks being charged with abuse of dominant position by 40 US states

Attorneys general from 40 US states and the Federal trade commission would be ready to sue Facebook for its monopoly position in the social media sector.

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images) two months ago the United States Antitrust had promised to take countermeasures to downsize the monopoly power of Facebook and other tech giants, today, December 9, the platform is expected to formalize the first lawsuits. The attorneys general of over 40 American states, with the support of the Federal Trade Commission (Ftc), are in fact ready to sue the company on charges of having systematically acted in violation of the rules for market competition.

This is a first indictment that comes following the investigation launched in 2019 and led by the attorneys general of almost all the American states. In particular, according to the Washington Post, state attorneys involved in the action today under the leadership of Democratic New York state attorney Letitia James accuse Facebook of violating the law to eliminate its direct competitors through acquisitions and monopolistic behaviors.

As has happened in the past, the authorities especially contest the largest operations carried out by the social network over the years, especially those that led it to acquire Instagram for a billion dollars in 2012 and Whatsapp for $ 19 billion in 2014.

With these operations, Facebook has actually incorporated two of the main alternatives to its platform into its ecosystem. Furthermore, the Federal trade commission was already evaluating the possibility of blocking the integration of the services offered by Whatsapp, Instagram and Messenger last year, one of the operations that could certainly further increase Facebook's monopoly position in the sector of social platforms.

Among the requests that will be made by the attorneys general there could therefore be that of imposing on Facebook the sale of some subsidiaries in order to re-enter a situation of market competition, in addition to the obligation on the part of the platform to agree with the authorities themselves on any future acquisition or merger.

Another element at the center of the investigation was also the world in which Facebook took advantage of its position to exploit the large amount of data in its possession, and also on this front the authorities could open new lawsuits.

In short, that expected a for today would be the second major monopoly action taken by US institutions against Big Tech in 2020. In October, the Justice Department accused Google of abusing its dominant position in the search engine sector.

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