The US government and 48 states have filed parallel lawsuits against Facebook, accusing the social media giant of misusing market power to monopolize and ‘crush’ smaller competitors. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and attorney generals from 48 states then began prosecuting the company on Wednesday, prompting a sharp drop in Facebook shares. The bipartisan coalition led by New York Attorney General Letitia James alleged that Facebook had put in place a systematic strategy to maintain its monopoly. This includes the acquisition of close rival Instagram in 2012, the acquisition of mobile messaging app WhatsApp in 2014, and imposing competitive terms on software developers.
According to the federal complaint, Facebook conduct damaged competition, limited social networking options for consumers, and did not give advertisers the competitive advantage. Facebook vice president and general counsel Jennifer Newstead opposed the lawsuit, calling it an attempt to change history.