comscore Facebook sued by US governement over antitrust issues | BGR India
News

Facebook sued by US govt over antitrust issues & maintaining 'monopoly power'

The US government along with 48 US States have sued Facebook over antitrust issues and maintaining monopoly power over competitors.

  • Published: December 10, 2020 1:42 PM IST
Mark Zuckerberg

In a landmark anti-trust action headlined by bipartisan support, the US federal government and 48 states led by the New York Attorney General have sued Facebook in two separate lawsuits, accusing it of abusing its market power to “neutralize” competition and going into “destroy mode” against smaller players. Also Read - Officials from Facebook and Twitter summoned by Parliamentary panel on Jan 21

The lawsuits are now seeking action that could include a spinoff of Facebook-owned Instagram and WhatsApp services. The case against Facebook was announced on 9 December by the Federal Trade Commission and New York Attorney General Letitia James. Also Read - WhatsApp delays privacy policy update; you now have time until May 15 to accept

The led lawsuit runs into more than 100 pages, the FTC lawsuit is 53 pages long and both the documents align on the big themes of “predatory” conduct. Also Read - WhatsApp makes clear its privacy policies, says it cannot read your messages  

Anti-trust legislation is something both Republicans and Democrats support. In previous years, it has been used to break up tobacco companies and AT&T. Microsoft was almost split up after losing an antitrust case in the 1990s.

The latest backlash comes 16 years after Mark Zuckerberg started Facebook from his Harvard dorm.

Facebook’s global presence

From that time, Facebook has grown to become the world’s biggest social network with 2.7 billion users and a market value of nearly $800 billion, while Zuckerberg has become the world’s fifth-richest person. Facebook’s user base in America is among its lowest across geographies.

But its average revenue per user (ARPU) in the US, Canada and Europe is relatively higher because of what Facebook calls the “maturity of these online and mobile advertising markets”.

According to Facebook’s latest annual stock market filing, “ARPU in 2019 in the US and Canada region was more than 11 times higher than in the Asia-Pacific region”.

The same document lists India, Indonesia, and the Philippines as “key sources of growth” in daily active users.

India is Facebook’s largest market with more than 328 million users. WhatsApp accounts for more than 400 million users in India.

What is the lawsuit all about?

Wednesday’s lawsuits against Facebook comprise the second big US government-led offensive against Big Tech this year.

The first was when the Justice Department sued Google in October, just before the November 3 presidential election, accusing the search giant of capturing the entire online search and advertising market.

Within the first two pages, the 48 states make the case that “Facebook has had monopoly power in the personal social networking market in the US” for more than a decade and “illegally maintains that monopoly power by deploying a buy-or-bury strategy that thwarts competition and harms both users and advertisers”.

Facebook’s illegal course of conduct has been driven, in part, by fear that the company has fallen behind in important new segments and that emerging firms were “building networks that were competitive with” the social media giant and could be “very disruptive to” the company’s dominance”, an excerpt from the states’-led lawsuit said.

“Facebook’s actions to entrench and maintain its monopoly deny consumers the benefits of competition. Our aim is to roll back Facebook’s anti-competitive conduct and restore competition so that innovation and free competition can thrive.”,  said Ian Conner, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition.

“When Facebook started in 2004, I was one of its earliest users. Since then, Facebook has broken the privacy promises that initially made it popular and has become infamous for a business model prone to abuse. Facebook must understand that it is not above the law,” FTC Commissioner Rohit Chopra tweeted.

The FTC fined Facebook $5 billion in 2019 for privacy violations, the largest fine the agency had ever slapped on a tech company but it did little to dent Facebook’s business.

“The FTC’s antitrust suit to break up Facebook will change the whole dimension of tech regulation. But we need more: An acknowledgement that these companies are not just monopolies, but natural monopolies that require utility regulation,” Dipayan Ghosh, a Facebook defector who now co-directs the Digital Platforms and Democracy Project at Harvard University, posted on Twitter.

For the latest tech news across the world, latest PC and Mobile games, tips & tricks, top-notch gadget reviews of most exciting releases follow BGR India’s Facebook, Twitter, subscribe our YouTube Channel.
  • Published Date: December 10, 2020 1:42 PM IST



new arrivals in india

Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G
Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G

35,990

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G

1,05,999

Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus 5G
Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus 5G

81,999

Samsung Galaxy S21 5G
Samsung Galaxy S21 5G

69,999

Vivo Y12s
Vivo Y12s

9,990

Vivo Y51A
Vivo Y51A

17,990

Samsung Galaxy M02s
Samsung Galaxy M02s

8,999

Xiaomi Mi 10i
Xiaomi Mi 10i

21,999

Oppo A15s
Oppo A15s

11,490

Tecno Spark 6 Go
Tecno Spark 6 Go

8,499

Vivo V20 2021
Vivo V20 2021

24,990

Vivo Y20A
Vivo Y20A

11,490

Xiaomi Redmi 9 Power
Xiaomi Redmi 9 Power

11,999

Motorola Moto G9 Power
Motorola Moto G9 Power

11,999

Motorola Moto G 5G
Motorola Moto G 5G

20,999

Vivo V20 Pro
Vivo V20 Pro

29,990

Xiaomi Mi 10T
Xiaomi Mi 10T

35,999

Xiaomi Redmi 9i
Xiaomi Redmi 9i

8,299

Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro
Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro

39,999

Infinix Hot 10
Infinix Hot 10

9,999

Vivo V20 SE
Vivo V20 SE

20,990

Vivo V20
Vivo V20

24,990

Micromax In 1b
Micromax In 1b

6,999

Micromax In Note 1
Micromax In Note 1

10,999

OnePlus 8T
OnePlus 8T

42,999

Samsung Galaxy F41
Samsung Galaxy F41

15,499

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max

1,29,900

Apple iPhone 12 Pro
Apple iPhone 12 Pro

1,19,900

Apple iPhone 12 Mini
Apple iPhone 12 Mini

69,900

Apple iPhone 12
Apple iPhone 12

79,900

Poco X3
Poco X3

16,999

Realme Narzo 20A
Realme Narzo 20A

8,499

Realme Narzo 20
Realme Narzo 20

10,499

Realme Narzo 20 Pro
Realme Narzo 20 Pro

13,999

Oppo F17
Oppo F17

16,990

Samsung Galaxy M51
Samsung Galaxy M51

22,999

Poco M2
Poco M2

10,999

Oppo F17 Pro
Oppo F17 Pro

22,990

Realme 7 Pro
Realme 7 Pro

19,999

Realme 7
Realme 7

14,999

Xiaomi Redmi 9A
Xiaomi Redmi 9A

6,799

Vivo Y20
Vivo Y20

12,990

Xiaomi Redmi 9
Xiaomi Redmi 9

8,999

Nokia 5.3
Nokia 5.3

13,999

Motorola Moto G9
Motorola Moto G9

11,499

Realme C15
Realme C15

9,999

Realme C12
Realme C12

8,999

Samsung Galaxy Note 20
Samsung Galaxy Note 20

77,999

Xiaomi Redmi 9 Prime
Xiaomi Redmi 9 Prime

9,999

Oppo Reno4 Pro
Oppo Reno4 Pro

34,990

Samsung Galaxy M01 Core
Samsung Galaxy M01 Core

5,499

Realme 6i
Realme 6i

12,999

Asus Rog Phone 3
Asus Rog Phone 3

46,999

OnePlus Nord
OnePlus Nord

24,999

Infinix Smart 4 Plus
Infinix Smart 4 Plus

7,999

Xiaomi Redmi Note 9
Xiaomi Redmi Note 9

11,999

Samsung Galaxy M01s
Samsung Galaxy M01s

9,999

Vivo X50 Pro 5G
Vivo X50 Pro 5G

49,990

Vivo X50 5G
Vivo X50 5G

34,990

Realme C11
Realme C11

7,499

Poco M2 Pro
Poco M2 Pro

13,999

Realme X3
Realme X3

24,999

Realme X3 SuperZoom
Realme X3 SuperZoom

27,999

Tecno Spark Power 2
Tecno Spark Power 2

9,999

Oppo A12
Oppo A12

9,990

Oppo A52
Oppo A52

16,990

Samsung Galaxy A21s
Samsung Galaxy A21s

15,999

Oppo Find X2
Oppo Find X2

64,990

Motorola One Fusion Plus
Motorola One Fusion Plus

17,499

Samsung Galaxy A31
Samsung Galaxy A31

20,999

Samsung Galaxy M01
Samsung Galaxy M01

8,999

Samsung Galaxy M11
Samsung Galaxy M11

10,999

Infinix Hot 9 Pro
Infinix Hot 9 Pro

9,999

LG Velvet
LG Velvet

Price Not Available

Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Lite
Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Lite

Price Not Available

Apple iPhone SE 2020
Apple iPhone SE 2020

42,500

Honor 30 Pro
Honor 30 Pro

Price Not Available

Honor 30
Honor 30

Price Not Available

OnePlus 8
OnePlus 8

44,999

OnePlus 8 Pro
OnePlus 8 Pro

54,999

Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro
Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro

13,999

Best Sellers