The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and prosecutors General of 48 States filed a major lawsuit against Facebook on Wednesday, accusing the social media giant of being a monopoly, and its anti competitive behavior harmed American interests. After more than a year of investigation, the two lawsuits eventually filed are the biggest antitrust challenges Facebook has ever faced. < / P > < p > both lawsuits essentially required the company to split Facebook, forcing the company to withdraw its acquisition of instagram and WhatsApp that year. Together, these two applications have billions of users. < / P > < p > the lawsuit said the withdrawal was necessary because Facebook was trying to stifle competition and gain market dominance by acquiring potential competitors. At the same time, Facebook’s behavior also limits the choice of American consumers, reducing the privacy protection they could have obtained. < / P > < p > “they stifle innovation and reduce privacy protection for millions of Americans. No company should have such an unrestricted influence on our personal information and social activities. ” Said Letitia James, New York’s attorney general, who led state litigation in 46 states, as well as Washington, D.C., and Guam. < / P > < p > Facebook did not immediately respond to a comment request. But a blog post released by the company on Wednesday described the lawsuits as “historical revisionism.”. Facebook stressed in the article that the company’s acquisitions of WhatsApp and instagram, which had been approved by the FTC many years ago, now “wanting to go back and start over” would set a worrying precedent that “no acquisition is unchangeable.”. < / P > < p > FTC and state litigation focuses on Facebook’s acquisition of instagram and WhatsApp. Facebook bought instagram, an image sharing app, for $1 billion in 2012 and WhatsApp, a global instant messaging app, for $19 billion in 2014. The lawsuit alleges that Facebook used these acquisitions to develop into today’s monopoly and gain the ability to crush competitors that failed to acquire. < / P > < p > “for the last decade, Facebook has a monopoly in the personality social network market in the United States.” The attorney general’s joint lawsuit wrote that “Facebook has illegally maintained its monopoly by blocking competition through a strategy of ‘acquisition or destruction’, which has also harmed the interests of users and advertisers.” Similar conclusions have been reached in the lawsuit of < / P > < p > FTC. “Facebook is not satisfied with attracting and retaining users through competition. Instead, it maintains its monopoly position by acquiring companies that pose a competitive threat to its business and adopting unfair restrictive policies to block actual or potential competitors who failed to acquire,” the lawsuit wrote ‘This is a compelling argument, ‘said William Kovacic, a former FTC member and now a professor of law and policy at George Washington University. “The argument in both cases is based on the fact that Facebook’s monopoly is mainly derived from the company’s acquisition of instagram and WhatsApp, which are important pillars of the company’s current market position. The only way to solve this situation is to create new businesses. ” < / P > < p > the lawsuit comes at a critical time for large technology companies, with the public, regulators, and legislators from both parties reviewing these companies and their social and economic impact. In October, the house antitrust sub committee concluded its 16 month investigation and released an extensive report. Facebook and other technology giants such as Amazon, apple and Google have antitrust practices and need to be better regulated, according to the report. One question that remains to be solved is whether the antitrust law enacted decades ago is sufficient to regulate businesses in the Internet age. < / P > < p > although these surveys are similar, the lawsuit on Wednesday is different from the report of the legislators. Members’ reports only make recommendations, but they cannot be implemented. But the lawsuit could actually force Facebook to take actions, such as paying fines or selling WhatsApp and instagram under existing laws. However, it is still too early to discuss the impact of these lawsuits. < / P > < p > although the FTC lawsuit and the attorney general’s lawsuit are not exactly the same, both sides have cooperated, and the litigation of both sides also put forward a similar claim on why Facebook has monopoly. < / P > < p > in essence, they all believe that Facebook is a powerful social media monopolist, and the company collects a large amount of data from US users and uses it to sell advertising. While the lawsuit targets instagram and WhatsApp acquisitions, both lawsuits see Facebook’s anticompetitive behavior as part of a broader pattern of behavior. Many of the evidence in the lawsuit cited comments from executives, including Mark Zuckerberg, the company’s chief executive, to prove that Facebook intended to oppose competition. For example, FTC’s lawsuit cites an email Zuckerberg sent to a colleague the day he announced his acquisition of instagram. “I remember you explained in your internal post why instagram, not Google +, is a threat to us,” the lawsuit quoted the email as saying. On the whole, you are right. But for startups, one of the benefits is that you can buy them. ” < / P > < p > “the significance of the lawsuit is that Facebook’s monopoly power and personal social network are not only the result of innovation or becoming the best product or service in the market, but also the result of Facebook’s violation of anti-monopoly law to ensure that it will not face any meaningful competition.” Said Sally Hubbard of the open markets Institute. The lawsuit also refers to the way Facebook treats developers. They accuse the company of allowing other software providers to use Facebook’s data to develop their own apps and connect their apps to Facebook’s services, which is good for Facebook because it encourages more people to join Facebook and use it regularly. But when Facebook finally believes that these apps pose a threat to its own business, Facebook will shut out third-party apps. < / P > < p > “due to Facebook’s illegal behavior, users of personal social network services suffer and continue to suffer from various kinds of harm, including the decline in the quality of user experience, the reduction of personal social network selection, the inhibition of innovation and the reduction of investment in potential competitive services.” The attorney general’s lawsuit wrote. The lawsuit also points out that another consequence of all this is the violation of American privacy. Because Facebook is killing competitors who might offer better privacy. Both lawsuits argue that Facebook should be split. But achieving that goal is not easy, and even if it can be split, it will take time. Habad of the open market institute said it could take years to force Facebook to divest instagram and WhatsApp through litigation. Other experts say the trial may not begin until next year or even 2022. < / P > < p > another problem is that Facebook continues to deepen the links between its apps, which may make it more difficult to split Facebook. In 2019, Facebook announced that it would begin to merge the technology infrastructure of WhatsApp, instagram and instant messaging systems used by Facebook. The company also had more hope for WhatsApp and said it might combine Facebook and instagram’s advertising business with the WhatsApp platform. < p > < p > after the lawsuit was announced on Wednesday, Facebook refuted the claims, stressing that FTC had approved the company’s acquisitions of WhatsApp and instagram years ago. < / P > < p > “we are reviewing the litigation and will provide more information later.” After the lawsuit was announced, Facebook responded on twitter, “FTC approved our acquisition a few years ago, but the government now wants to go back and start all over again, regardless of the impact this precedent will have on the broader business community and the users who choose our products every day.” < / P > < p > in a subsequent blog post, Facebook also argued that the company also faced competition from other platforms, such as Google and tiktok, in advertising spending. < / P > < p > but these are not the only excuses Facebook can use. “Facebook’s core answer is, ‘look at what we’ve done for the companies we’ve acquired over the years,” kovachic said. Have we abandoned these companies? We’ve never interfered too much in their development, but we’ve helped them develop into very good businesses. ” < / P > < p > so, while it’s not new to accuse Facebook of anti competitive behavior, the new lawsuit offers more opportunities for critics of the company to work together. The critics also said there would be stricter regulation of large technology companies in the future. Global Tech

By ibmwl