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U.S. sues Facebook over monopoly

New York State Attorney General Letitia James speaks at a news conference in New York in August. Associated Press/ Photo by Kathy Willens

U.S. sues Facebook over monopoly

The Federal Trade Commission and 48 states filed antitrust suits against the tech giant on Wednesday. New York Attorney General Letitia James said at a press conference that Facebook used its monopoly power to crush smaller rivals and snuff out competition like WhatsApp and Instagram, all at the expense of everyday users. In 2012, Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion and later purchased WhatsApp for $19 billion in 2014. It has also acquired some 68 other startup companies.

How likely is the suit to succeed? North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein, who helped investigate the lawsuit, compared the legal challenge to the breakup of AT&T’s monopoly in the 1980s. Alex Harman, with the nonprofit consumer advocacy group Public Citizen, said the lawsuit and the Justice Department’s October case against Google for also violating antitrust laws signal a turning point in reining in Big Tech monopolies.

Dig deeper: Read Steve West’s report on Big Tech’s battle over claims of internet censorship.

Samantha Gobba

Samantha is a freelancer for WORLD Digital. She is a graduate of the World Journalism Institute, holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Hillsdale College, and has a multiple-subject teaching credential from California State University. Samantha resides in Chico, Calif., with her husband and their two sons.


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