Together with 46 other states, the FTC has filed a lawsuit against Facebook, accusing them of maintaining an “illegal social networking monopoly” and having “years of anticompetitive conduct”. They have also accused the company of a “systemic strategy” of trying to eliminate the competition through acts of acquisition, like when they acquired Instagram and WhatsApp.
According to Ian Conner, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition, “Personal social networking is central to the lives of millions of Americans. Facebook’s actions to entrench and maintain its monopoly deny consumers the benefits of competition. Our aim is to roll back Facebook’s anticompetitive conduct and restore competition so that innovation and free competition can thrive.”
Facebook has since responded in a tweet in which they say, “We’re reviewing the complaints & will have more to say soon. Years after the FTC cleared our acquisitions, the government now wants a do-over with no regard for the impact that precedent would have on the broader business community or the people who choose our products every day.”