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US govt, states hit Facebook with antitrust lawsuit, propose hiving off Instagram, WhatsApp

“For almost a decade, Facebook has had monopoly power in the personal social networking market in the United States," said a coalition of 48 states in its lawsuit against Facebook. In a significant development, the social media giant was hit by two lawsuits, one by the coalition and another by the US Federal Trade Commission, accusing it of anti-competitive business practices. Both lawsuits have asked for the reversal of Facebook's acquisitions of WhatsApp and Instagram. This is second major antitrust lawsuit filed against a social media giant in recent times. The Department of Justice (DoJ) has filed a lawsuit against Google, where it has proposed breaking up of the Big Tech company. The investigation into Facebook is a part of the larger antitrust scrutiny on Big Tech in the country. The legislative branch of the government has questioned Big Tech CEOs in high-profile hearings in recent months. Subsequently, the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives had recently called for a radical overhaul of antitrust law in the country. The states’ lawsuit said that Facebook has maintained a monopoly over personal social networking market in the US. It said the company “illegally maintains that monopoly power by deploying a buy-or-bury strategy that thwarts competition and harms both users and advertisers”. The lawsuit, headed by the Attorney General of New York Letitia James, noted that Facebook takes a “buy-or-bury” strategy to thwart competitors, harming both users and advertisers. It also accused the company of following up with exclusionary tactics to snuff competition, which…

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