Will Facebook shut down? App sued over 'illegal monopoly' claims, Internet calls it the 'revenge of Americans'

Federal Trade Commission and a coalition of US states have accused and sued the social media giant on the grounds that the app has taken up a 'systematic strategy' to eliminate its competition


                            Will Facebook shut down? App sued over 'illegal monopoly' claims, Internet calls it the 'revenge of Americans'
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World's biggest social networking website, Facebook, is now facing two separate lawsuits, accusing the app of abusing power and call for it to sell off Whatsapp and Instagram. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and a coalition of US states have accused and sued the social media giant on the grounds that the app has taken up a "systematic strategy" to eliminate its competition.

The FTC said in a statement it would seek an injunction that "could, among other things: require divestitures of assets, including Instagram and WhatsApp". In its complaint, the coalition of 46 states, Washington, DC and Guam also asked for Facebook's acquisitions of the two well-known tech brands to be judged to be illegal. The FTC has claimed that Facebook engaged in a systematic strategy to reduce threats to its monopoly, including the 2012 and 2014 acquisitions of the two apps, which it had previously cleared. 

The lawsuit also alleges that Facebook holds monopoly power in the US social networking market. Facebook acquired Instagram for $1B and WhatsApp for $19B. The company’s stock went down by almost 4 percent following the news of the lawsuits. It was announced by FTC and New York Attorney General Letitia James. “It’s really critically important that we block this predatory acquisition of companies and that we restore confidence to the market,” she said.

In a series of tweets on Wednesday, December 9, James said, "#BREAKING: I'm leading a bipartisan coalition of 48 attorneys general in a lawsuit against @Facebook to end its illegal monopoly. We are taking action to stand up for the millions of consumers and many small businesses that have been harmed by Facebook’s illegal behavior."

She continued saying, "Facebook has used its monopoly power to crush smaller rivals and snuff out competition, all at the expense of everyday users. Instead of improving its own product, Facebook took advantage of consumers and made billions of dollars converting their personal data into a cash cow." Lastly, she tweeted, "Today’s suit should send a clear message to Facebook and every other company: Efforts to stifle competition, reduce innovation, or cut privacy protections will be met with the full force of almost every attorney general's office in the nation."



 



 



 

In the lawsuit, the FTC has demanded the separation of services from Facebook saying it has engaged in a “systematic strategy” to eliminate its competition, including by purchasing smaller up-and-coming rivals. James echoed that in her press conference, saying Facebook “used its monopoly power to crush smaller rivals and snuff out competition, all at the expense of everyday users". With over 2.7B users worldwide, Facebook is the biggest social media network and holds a market value of nearly $800B.

As soon as the news made its way to social media, people started reacting to it and #DeleteFacebook started trending. One Internet user said, "That moment when people realize you can't delete Facebook because they still track you even after you delete your account and app #DeleteFacebook." While another one wrote, "Cool. I like that! Zucky is facing lots of lawsuit now. This is the revenge of the American people."



 



 

One wrote, "This is excellent. I hope it also opens up a larger conversation about data ownership. Citizens/individuals should own their data, whether on social media, with credit agencies, etc. I should control if my data is being provided to any entity, ever." Referring to Fox News, one wrote "Just a reminder that Facebook is the new Fox News #DeleteFacebook."



 



 

One claimed, "Google is the number one offender in online dominance. Google/Alphabet is a textbook example of monopoly." While another one wrote, "Google owns youtube so google next! can't we all do a class action since they are suppressing our freedom of speech."



 



 

Calling the social networking website a "hot mess" another one wrote, "Facebook is a hot mess -- platform is insanely complex and navigation is beyond ridiculous, pages & groups & timelines and newsfeeds and a page can do this but a regular acct cant and who knows whats being seen --, the friends thing is ridiculous- there too much on the platform."



 

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