WashPost: FTC May File Antitrust Lawsuit Against Facebook By December

November 19th, 2020 11:32 AM

The Department of Justice filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google in October, and it appears as though Facebook may be the next Big Tech company to face judgement day.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and several state attorneys general are exploring a possible antitrust lawsuit against Facebook, and could file the suit within the next few months, according to The Washington Post

“As the state and federal probes enter their final phases, investigators have explored how Instagram and WhatsApp changed in the years after Facebook purchased them,” three anonymous sources reportedly told The Post

At this point, an official decision has not been made regarding the case, and investigations could still “alter their thinking,” according to The Post.

However, The Post’s sources reportedly “agreed that state attorneys general — who initiated their inquiry last year under the leadership of New York’s Letitia James (D) — are on track to file a lawsuit in early December. Nearly 40 states, led by Democratic and Republican enforcers, have expressed an interest in signing onto the case, according to those familiar with the effort, who said some state leaders discussed the matter on a private call Wednesday.”

The FTC and state attorneys general also have not specified the charges against Facebook. Investigators are reportedly examining “the way in which Facebook manages its vast trove of user data, and the policies it has in place that govern when and how third-party app developers and other companies can access it — setting up the potential, the three sources said, for forthcoming state and federal complaints to contend that Facebook weaponized its most valuable assets as a way to stamp out emerging rivals.”

The FTC’s investigation into Facebook’s practices was first made public in September and may be the next step in bringing Big Tech to heel. 

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