CHARLESTON – West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey filed a lawsuit against Facebook Inc. on Wednesday, as part of a bipartisan coalition of 48 attorneys general, for illegally suppressing and continuing to suppress competition to protect its personal social media monopoly.
The lawsuit alleges that Facebook pirated competitors illegally and reduced services to minor threats, thereby discouraging users from the benefits of competition and reducing privacy and services – all in an effort to gain higher profits Increase advertising revenue.
“America thrives best with robust competition,” said Attorney General Morrisey. “We must not tolerate acts that block meaningful access to the competition and exploit a user’s private information. Such behavior reduces consumer choice, stifles innovation, and undermines privacy for millions. “
Facebook has been a personal social network service since 2004. It makes it easy to share content online without users having to pay a monetary fee. Instead, these services are provided in exchange for a user’s time, attention, and private information.
The lawsuit contains several violations of federal antitrust law. It is alleged that Facebook uses various methods to impede competitors in order to maintain dominance and secure potential billions in advertising revenue.
The attorneys general claim Facebook used two strategies – winning over potential competitors and smothering or crushing third-party computer software developers.
The lawsuit cites Facebook’s acquisitions of WhatsApp and Instagram for nearly $ 19 billion and $ 1 billion, respectively, as examples of the strategy to eliminate competition with purchase prices well above market values.
The coalition also claims that Facebook approaches competitors with a “buy or bury” approach: if a competitor refuses to be bought out, Facebook effectively eliminates the competitor’s ability to operate within Facebook.
The lawsuit aims to deter Facebook from making future acquisitions worth $ 10 million or more without notice to plaintiff states. It also tries to stop current and future illegal, anti-competitive behavior and a court order to sell illegally acquired companies.
West Virginia joined the New York-led lawsuit with attorneys general from Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Columbia District, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana . Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming and the Guam area.
Read a copy of the lawsuit at https://bit.ly/37QAXsg.