WA, 47 Other States Sue Facebook Over “Illegal Monopoly”
Washington State AG Bob Ferguson has joined New York, and 46 other states in suing social media giant Facebook, accusing it of creating an "illegal monopoly."
Ferguson, in news released Wednesday said the following in part:
"...the company formed an illegal monopoly in the personal social networking market. The company formed this monopoly by buying or constraining potential competitors, usually mobile apps, in their infancy — including rivals Instagram and WhatsApp.
These actions helped Facebook dominate its market. Roughly 70 percent of the U.S. population, including more than 5 million Washingtonians, use Facebook every day. More than 2.25 billion people worldwide use Facebook daily."
Ferguson's statement went on to say:
"Reduced competition from monopolies drives up prices, inhibits innovation and reduces the quality of products and services. When Facebook created its monopoly, it reduced choices for consumers, increased the number of ads shown to its users and weakened its privacy protections in order to maximize profit from selling its users’ data."
What is the lawsuit seeking? It hopes to force Facebook to sell it's stock in Instagram, WhatsApp and refrain from any futher "anticompetitive" acquisitions in the future.
We are already hearing Congressional leaders are viewing this lawsuit as an opportunity, or momentum, to argue for repeal of Section 230. That's the legislation that protects social media and tech giants from lawsuits over their content online. Some are already arguing that this "monopoly" is what has allowed Facebook to utilize it's infamous Fact Checkers; who are accused of censorship.
We shall see what happens.