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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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No help at our border, but Biden announces $5 billion going to bike paths, wider sidewalks

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In the world of Democrat delusion, they think $5 billion is necessary, at this point in time, to make bike paths and widen side walks. You cannot make this up. They have approved $40 billion in aide to Ukraine in a heartbeat under President Biden, while having rejected former President Trump’s request for a mere $5 billion to secure our border.

The news also comes as fentanyl and the drug overdoses are the number one cause of death in the U.S. There’s also an increase in human smuggling and extortion to pay to cross the border. But no; let’s make some bike paths and widen sidewalks. That is an immediate emergency.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg announced Monday that money will be used over five years under his department’s new “Safe Streets & Roads for All” program. The $5 billion ini federals funds will be used “to slow down cars chia more speed cameras, carve out bike paths and wider sidewalks and urging commuters to public transit” reports Daily Mail.

“The aim will be to provide a direct infusion of federal cash to communities that pledge to promote safety for the multiple users of a roadway, particularly pedestrians and bicyclists.” The announcement also coincides with the six-month anniversary of President Biden’s infrastructure legislation, and the beginning of the 2022 “infrastructure week.”

The desire to fix roads is a noble one, as “road traffic injuries also are the leading cause of death among young people aged 5-29. Young adults aged 15-4 account for more than half of all road deaths” reports Daily Mail, which adds:

Still, much of the federal roadmap relies on cooperation from cities and states, and it could take months if not years to fully implement with discernible results – too late to soothe 2022 midterm voters unsettled by this and other pandemic-related ills, such as rising crime.

The latest U.S. guidance Monday invites cities and localities to sketch out safety plans in their applications for the federal grants, which are to be awarded late this year.

It cites examples of good projects as those that promise to transform a high-crash roadway, such as by adding rumble strips to slow cars or installing speed cameras, which the department says could provide more equitable enforcement than police traffic stops; flashing beacons for pedestrian crosswalks; new ‘safe routes’ via sidewalks or other protected pathways to school or public transit in underserved communities; and other ‘quick build’ roadway changes designed with community input.

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