More than 45 state and federal US prosecutors have sued social media company, Facebook, accusing the company of taking illegal actions to shut out and buy up rivals and also stifle competition.
US Officials are asking the court to consider breaking up the company, which also owns Instagram and WhatsApp, a significant legal action taken by the US government against the firm.
Prosecutors say the new lawsuits were focused on Facebook’s 2012 acquisition of then rival, Instagram, the 2014 purchase of WhatsApp and rules governing outside software developers.
They said Facebook had taken a “buy or bury” approach to potential rivals, hurting competitors and users, who have lost control of their own data to support the firm’s advertising revenue.
“No company should have this much unchecked power over our personal interaction and social interactions,” said New York Attorney General Letitia James.
“That’s why we are taking action today.”
The lawsuits come following pressure from the Trump Administration urging prosecutors to take a stronger stance against social media companies like facebook and Twitter.
In 2020 alone, owners of Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple were forced to testify before the US Congress, as part of a bigger investigation of their influence on the market.
Then in October, the Department of Justice sued Google, accusing them of violating US competition laws to maintain a monopoly on internet searches and online advertising.
Facebook is yet to respond to GE litigation as at press time.