FTC Plans Antitrust Lawsuit Against Facebook Before Year-End: WSJ

The United States Federal Trade Commission could unveil an antitrust lawsuit against Facebook Inc. FB by the end of the year, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

What Happened: The FTC has been looking into the social media platform for over a year.

Some of the regulator’s efforts to obtain more information include collecting CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony on the company’s policies and practices.

The decision to go forth with the lawsuit will be finally made by a five-member bench comprising of three Republicans and two Democrats, according to the Journal.

Speculations suggest that the regulatory probe might look into the social media giant’s past acquisitions and takeover bids for competing businesses.

Why Does It Matter: The FTC’s clampdown against big tech companies is gradually gaining momentum.The regulator's scrutiny into Facebook’s business practices began in June last year. Additionally, the regulator also holds the authority to nullify previously approved mergers and acquisitions.

Facebook’s strategy of buying out smaller tech companies and incorporating their tech features in their own platform, including WhatsApp and Instagram, has been at the center of controveries for a long time.

The social media giant bought Instagram in 2012 for $1 billion and Whatsapp for $19 billion in 2014.

Price Movement: After a 2.36% uptick at the end of Tuesday’s trading hours, FB stock dipped 1.6% at $272.42 in the extended trading session.

Posted In: AntitrustFTCInstagramMark ZuckerbergThe Wall Street JournalU.S. Federal Trade CommissionWhatsAppGovernmentNewsRegulationsLegalTechMedia