A large party of federal regulators and state prosecutors in the US have filed a lawsuit against Facebook, claiming it used illegal anti-competition tactics to reach a dominant position.
The plaintiffs are asking the courts to consider breaking up the social media giant and make it relinquish control of WhatsApp and Instagram.
Facebook is disputing the allegations and said that the deals were approved by all the necessary regulators at the time.
General Counsel Jennifer Newstead told BBC News: “The government now wants a do-over, sending a chilling warning to American business that no sale is ever final. Antitrust laws exist to protect consumers and promote innovation, not to punish successful businesses.”
However, critics do not like the way that Facebook has achieved its success, describing its technique as “buy or bury”. CEO Mark Zuckerberg said himself that he was worried about Instagram as a competitor, before acquiring the social media platform in 2012.
More than 2.5 billion people use at least one of Facebook’s services everyday, which could make it eligible for “monopoly” status.
The company is currently in the process of merging its portfolio’s messaging systems over concerns that Facebook Messenger numbers are dwindling. When completed, the update would allow users to send and receive messages without needing to switch between platforms.
In October, Facebook was facing new legal action over the 2018 Cambridge Analytica data scandal. The plaintiffs are unhappy that the company was only fined £500,000 by the UK government.
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