FTC, 46 States Unveil Suit Against Facebook Aimed At Forcing Sale Of Instagram, WhatsApp

FTC, 46 States Unveil Suit Against Facebook Aimed At Forcing Sale Of Instagram, WhatsApp

Facebook Inc FB may have to part with crown jewels WhatsApp and Instagram after the United States Federal Trade Commission and almost all states sued the social media giant for extinguishing competition, Reuters reported Wednesday.

What Happened: The two lawsuits accuse the Mark Zuckerberg-led company of buying competing rivals — specifically Instagram for $1 billion in 2012 and WhatsApp for $19 billion in 2014, according to Reuters.

Federal and state prosecutors are reportedly asking that these acquisitions, okayed by the FTC earlier, be undone.

“For nearly a decade, Facebook has used its dominance and monopoly power to crush smaller rivals, snuff out competition, all at the expense of everyday users,” said New York Attorney General Letitia James.

Why It Matters: A coalition of 46 states along with Washington D.C. and Guam is participating in the legal action against the Menlo Park, California-based social media giant, noted Reuters.

Alabama, Georgia, and South Dakota are not parties to the lawsuit. There is a broad bipartisan consensus on the break up of tech giants like Facebook and Google parent Alphabet Inc GOOGL GOOG.

See Also: Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Google Stamping Out Rivals, Stifling Innovation, House Antitrust Investigation Concludes

In October, the Department of Justice filed against Alphabet alleging anti-competitive practices. 

Price Action: Facebook shares closed nearly 1.9% lower at $277.92 on Wednesday and fell almost 0.3% in the after-hours session.

Posted In: Antitrustbig techMark Zuckerbergsocial mediaUS Federal Trade CommissionGovernmentNewsRegulationsLegalTechMedia