Facebook is facing another wave of antitrust action in the US that could result in its forced break-up. Two new cases have been brought against the social media giant, one by the Federal Trade Commission and the other by a group of 46 states and two jurisdictions lead by New York Attorney-General, Letitia James.
Both cases allege that Facebook wields monopoly power and uses this power to stifle competition. The FTC accused the company of “maintaining its personal social networking monopoly through a years-long course of anti-competitive conduct”. The states’ case was even more aggressive arguing “Facebook illegally maintains […] monopoly power buy-or-bury strategy that thwarts competition and harms both users and advertisers”.
Both cases single out two practises by Facebook for particular criticism. The first is acquisition of companies that could prove potential competitors – Instagram in 2012 and WhatsApp in 2014 – in order to preserve its dominance.