FTC Filed a Lawsuit Against Facebook for Illegal Monopolization

The Attorney General Letitia James of the Federal Trade Commission recently declared a new antitrust lawsuit upon Facebook. This lawsuit clearly justifies that the social network has applied the monopoly power to defeat, compensate, and confusing all dangerous competitive threats. 

This lawsuit has been investigated along with the 48 attorney generals. After the investigation, the attorneys asserted that this complaint claims that Facebook has joined a systematic strategy. 

This includes its 2012 takeover of up-and-coming rival Instagram, its 2014 purchase of the mobile messaging app WhatsApp, and the impediment of anticompetitive limitations on software developers so that they can eliminate threats or competitors.

However, this policy harms the competition, transmits consumers with few opportunities for personal social networking, and strips advertisers of the advantages of competition.

The director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition, Ian Conner, said that “Personal social networking is necessary to the lives of millions of Americans. However, the steps that are being taken by Facebook to protect and maintain its monopoly, dispute the consumers’ privileges of competition.”

The director of FTC affirmed that their main aim is to roll back Facebook’s anti-competitive actions and rebuild competition to increase additional and free competition.

Anticompetitive Acquisitions & Platform Conduct

According to the complaint that has been stated by FTC, Facebook targeted possible competing threats to its dominance. However, Instagram is one of the fast-growing startups that has risen at a very significant time in personal social networking competition.

The report states that when the users of personal social networking services were relocating from desktop computers to smartphones, the consumers were frequently encompassing photo-sharing. 

But, the complaint claims that Facebook officials also includes CEO Mark Zuckerberg, immediately realized that Instagram was an active and innovative personal social network. It is an existential threat to Facebook’s monopoly power.

Moreover, Facebook’s procurement of Instagram for $1 billion in April 2012 supposedly both compensates the direct threat modeled by Instagram and executes it more challenging for another personal social networking opponent to expand its scale.

The complaint further claims that Facebook has imposed anticompetitive conditions on third-party software developers for over many years. It has gain access to all the relevant interconnections to its policies, like the application programming interfaces (APIs).

This programming interface enables the developers’ apps to interface with Facebook. The report explicitly asserts that Facebook allegedly has made key APIs that are possible to third-party applications only on the state that they abstain from developing competing functionalities. 

All these apps start connecting with or promoting other social networking services. Further actions are being taken regarding the lawsuit, and the Commission vote to empower staff to file for a perpetual injunction and other fair relief in the U.S. District Court.

BALAJI is an Ex-Security Researcher (Threat Research Labs) at Comodo Cybersecurity. Editor-in-Chief & Co-Founder - Cyber Security News & GBHackers On Security.