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Facebook sued by 46 states, FTC for alleged antitrust violations

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In a bipartisan move, a group of 46 U.S. state attorneys general, led by New York’s attorney general, launched a colossal antitrust lawsuit against Facebook on Wednesday, alleging that the social media giant has been operating as an illegal monopoly. Separately, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) launched its own lawsuit, alleging antitrust violations, which The Wall Street Journal called “it’s most ambitious [case] in recent memory”.

The core of the allegations surround claims that Facebook’s purchasing of Instagram in 2012 for $1 billion and WhatsApp in 2014 for $19 billion, in addition to other tinier technology companies, were executed for the purpose of crushing the competition.

The FTC, in its filing, wants to make Facebook sell both social media apps.

The FTC’s lawsuit comes after a more than year-long investigation into the company, with the commission voting 3-2 in favor of filing the case in a Washington, DC federal court. The commission’s suit had been in the works for months, The Journal reports.

“After identifying two significant competitive threats to its dominant position—Instagram and WhatsApp—Facebook moved to squelch those threats by buying the companies, reflecting CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s view, expressed in a 2008 email, that ‘it is better to buy than compete,’” the FTC’s lawsuit states.

New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) announced on Wednesday the 46-state lawsuit, which also includes the District of Columbia and Guam, saying in a Twitter thread, “We are taking action to stand up for the millions of consumers and many small businesses that have been harmed by Facebook’s illegal behavior.”

“Facebook has used its monopoly power to crush smaller rivals and snuff out competition, all at the expense of everyday users. Instead of improving its own product, Facebook took advantage of consumers and made billions of dollars converting their personal data into a cash cow,” James added.

Facebook responded to the lawsuit Wednesday afternoon on Twitter, saying that it is reviewing the complaints and will offer more information from its end “soon.”

“We’re reviewing the complaints & will have more to say soon,” the statement reads. “Years after the FTC cleared our acquisitions, the government now wants a do-over with no regard for the impact that precedent would have on the broader business community or the people who choose our products every day.”

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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Biden’s 60 Minutes Interview Horrifies White House: ‘Does NOT Reflect the OFFICIAL Position’

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Uh oh. Someone let President Joe Biden speak by himself again and damage control immediately ensued. President Joe Biden’s “60 Minutes” interview which aired on CBS Sunday was 60 minutes of pure torture for viewers and 60 minutes of pure angst for the White House; everyone but the president himself.

60 Minutes’ official Twitter account publicly called out the President’s answers with an embarrassing statement that his own administration was in disagreement with him:

“President Biden tells 60 Minutes that U.S. men and women would defend Taiwan in the vent of a Chinese invasion. However, after our interview, a White House official told us that U.S. policy on Taiwan has not changed.”

CBS’ Scott Pelley also discussed inflation; an issue drastically affecting the welfare and wellbeing of families. Biden deflected with zero sympathy:

As for President Biden’s son Joe, he is sticking with the narrative that Hunter is the “smartest” person he knows and that “there’s not a single thing that I’ve observed at all that would affect me or the United States relative to my son Hunter.”

Biden also said that while the “proof of the pudding is in the eating” in response to being asked if he is fit to be President, Biden did not commit to saying whether or not he will run for re-election. His “intention” is to run again, “but that’s just intention” he said. “Is it a firm decision that I run again? That remains to be seen.”

 

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