Washington, D.C. — Today, in two separate suits, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and 48 state attorneys general alleged that Facebook engaged in anti-competitive behavior when it acquired WhatsApp and Instagram. Following the announcement of the suits, Marc Jarsulic, chief economist at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement:
Today’s suits are welcome and overdue. Facebook has a dominant social media platform that produces huge profits and gives the company enormous influence over an important means of communication. It’s clear that Facebook has long sought to preserve its monopoly power by acquiring competitors such as WhatsApp and Instagram. By doing so, it has denied consumers access to more innovative and less invasive social media platforms. These and other behaviors by Facebook appear to be both anti-competitive and a violation of antitrust law.
Adam Conner, vice president for Technology Policy at the Center for American Progress, added:
The fact that these suits were brought by the FTC as well as states attorneys general from both parties is a signal of the seriousness of the allegations against Facebook. The suits filed today are a critical step in addressing the pattern of anti-competitive behavior from Facebook, which has resulted in too much power in the hands of one company. These suits represent the growing momentum to address the disproportionate power of technology giants.
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