More than 45 US state and federal prosecutors have sued Facebook, a social media giant, accusing the company of taking unlawful steps to shut down and purchase competitors and stifle competition as well.
U.S. officials are asking the court to consider splitting up the company, which also owns Instagram and WhatsApp, a crucial legal action taken against the firm by the U.S. government.
Prosecutors state the latest litigation centred on the acquisition of Facebook’s then competitor, Instagram, the purchase of WhatsApp in 2014, and rules regulating outside software developers in 2012.
They said Facebook had taken a “buy or bury” approach to potential rivals, hurting competitors and users, who have lost control of their own data to support the firm’s advertising revenue.
“No company should have this much unchecked power over our personal interaction and social interactions,” said New York Attorney General Letitia James.
“That’s why we are taking action today.”
The lawsuits come following pressure from the Trump Administration urging prosecutors to take a stronger stance against social media companies like facebook and Twitter.
In 2020 alone, owners of Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple were forced to testify before the US Congress, as part of a bigger investigation of their influence on the market.
Then in October, the Department of Justice sued Google, accusing them of violating US competition laws to maintain a monopoly on internet searches and online advertising.
Facebook is yet to respond to GE litigation as at press time.