Updated: March 4, 2021
The United States federal government and 48 states on Wednesday asked for Facebook to be ordered to divest its Instagram and WhatsApp messaging services, accusing the company of abusing its market power in several social networking to crush smaller competitors, AP first reported.
Facebook is the world’s biggest social network with 2.7 billion users and a market value of nearly $800 billion.
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The company’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg is the world’s fifth-richest individual in the world.
The antitrust lawsuits were announced by the Federal Trade Commission and New York Attorney General Letitia James.
“It’s really critically important that we block this predatory acquisition of companies and that we restore confidence to the market,” James said during a press conference, according to the AP.
AP noted that “the FTC is seeking the separation of the services from Facebook, saying Facebook has engaged in a “a systematic strategy” to eliminate its competition, including by purchasing smaller up-and-coming rivals like Instagram in 2012 and WhatsApp in 2014. James echoed that in her press conference, saying Facebook “used its monopoly power to crush smaller rivals and snuff out competition, all at the expense of everyday users.”