Facebook illegally obtained competitors Instagram and WhatsApp in a blatant abuse of its monopoly power, lawsuits filed by the FTC in coordination with more than 40 state attorneys general testify. The suits seek to force Facebook to divest Instagram and WhatsApp.
Ian Conner, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition said, “Facebook’s actions to entrench and maintain its monopoly deny consumers the benefits of competition.” “Our aim is to roll back Facebook’s anticompetitive conduct and restore competition so that innovation and free competition can thrive.”
The lawsuits allege that Facebook broke U.S. antitrust laws in maintaining a monopoly on the social-networking market, from which it has earned billions of dollars from advertising and generated massive profits. In addition, they charge that the company’s unlawful monopoly has given it broad discretion to set terms for how users’ private information is collected and used to further its business interests — and has let Facebook impose anticompetitive conditions on third-party developers.