Facebook has been dominating for years. It crushed my dear sweet Myspace from existence. It has taken control on Instagram and WhatsApp. And it’s now competing with Snapchat and TikTok.
But it seems that the increasing rise of Facebook is all a part of an “unlawful scheme” and is now undergoing investigations for using illegal monopoly power.
According to the Federal Trade Committee, antitrust lawsuits were filed Wednesday for stifling competition, degrading personal privacy, and crushing rivals.
“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,” New York Attorney General Letitia James said at a press conference announcing the action. “By using its vast troves of data and money, Facebook has squashed or hindered what the company perceived as potential threats.”
This has been a long anticipated lawsuit from many different corporations and complaints. It has been said that Facebook owners have abused its market dominance in order to acquire or kill competitors, abuse the privacy of Americans, and punish rivals who refused to be bought out.
The courts have been asked to permanently stop Facebook from continuing its allegedly illegal behavior and to potentially force it to divest its major assets, including Instagram and WhatsApp. The state attorneys general asked the courts to require Facebook to seek their approval for acquisitions valued at or above $10 million.
“Facebook’s actions to entrench and maintain its monopoly deny consumers the benefits of competition,” said Ian Conner, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition, in a statement. “Our aim is to roll back Facebook’s anticompetitive conduct and restore competition so that innovation and free competition can thrive.”