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Wed Dec 9, 2020, 03:05 PM

Dozens of states and the FTC sue Facebook for alleged anticompetitive behavior

Source: CNN Business

(CNN Business) Dozens of states and the federal government sued Facebook (FB) on Wednesday in twin antitrust lawsuits, alleging that the social media giant has abused its dominance in the digital marketplace and engaged in anticompetitive behavior. The parallel lawsuits, months in the making, represent an unprecedented challenge to one of Silicon Valley's most powerful corporations. The complaints zero in on Facebook's acquisition and control over Instagram and WhatsApp, two key services in its social media empire.

The suits come roughly 14 months after New York Attorney General Letitia James announced that her office was leading a group of attorneys general in investigating Facebook for potential anticompetitive practices. More than 40 attorneys general ultimately signed onto Wednesday's complaint. The Federal Trade Commission, meanwhile, has been conducting its own antitrust investigation of Facebook since June 2019.

Much of the scrutiny of Facebook concerns the companies it has purchased to build up a massive audience that now totals more than 3 billion users across its portfolio of apps, according to its financial statements. That dominance has raised questions by some legal experts, including US lawmakers, about whether Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg set out to neutralize competitive threats by gobbling them up. As the drumbeat in Washington against Facebook has grown louder, the company has had years to prepare for a showdown. It's moved to tightly integrate its apps on a technical level, a decision some critics have suggested is a strategy to frustrate any potential breakup.

It's stepped up its hiring of lawyers with antitrust and litigation experience. And the company has fine-tuned its talking points, settling on a narrative that Facebook welcomes regulation but that cracking down too hard could risk giving other countries like China a competitive edge in the fast-moving technology sector. The company has also argued that regulators reviewed the WhatsApp and Instagram deals at the time and did not see a reason to block them then. Instagram was acquired particularly early on in its lifecycle, before many came to view it as the successful giant it is today.

Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2020/12/09/tech/facebook-antitrust-lawsuit-ftc-attorney-generals/index.html



Sounds like what Microsoft did 20-some years ago with IE.

6 replies, 756 views

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Reply Dozens of states and the FTC sue Facebook for alleged anticompetitive behavior (Original post)
BumRushDaShow Dec 9 OP
bucolic_frolic Dec 9 #1
BumRushDaShow Dec 9 #2
BigmanPigman Dec 9 #4
BumRushDaShow Dec 9 #5
SeattleVet Dec 9 #3
BumRushDaShow Dec 9 #6

Response to BumRushDaShow (Original post)

Wed Dec 9, 2020, 03:26 PM

1. Ma Bell remains the gold standard of antitrust cases

But this type of consolidation takes place in many industries. Post WWI there were more than 600 tractor manufacturers, you see where that went, Deere. Today, most major brands of shoes, chainsaws, refrigeration equipment are controlled by a handful of companies that have grown through acquisition. Regulators worry about monopolies, or when there are 2-3 industry players and one of them controls most of it. But really, it's rare they do anything about it, and you see where it leads to: MaBell was broken into 7 or 8 regional companies, and they're now combined back into Verizon and I don't know, 2 others, plus wireless competitors?

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Response to bucolic_frolic (Reply #1)

Wed Dec 9, 2020, 03:35 PM

2. I remember Ma Bell's breakup

I went from "Bell of Pennsylvania" to "Bell Atlantic" to "Verizon".

I used to know all the regional Bells but then as they started recombining again, I lost track. I think at least one became the "new" AT &T (with mobile). I sortof remember "Pacific Telesis" and "SBC" as a couple others...

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Reply #2)

Wed Dec 9, 2020, 09:18 PM

4. My dad retired from Bell of PA in 1984 right before the break up would affect him.

He got great benefits but his coworkers who retired late got crap. I remember my mom's cousin always was an ass and made mean jokes about Ma Bell and prices aimed at my dad. After the break up prices went up and we never heard him "joke" about it again. Instead he was pissed off at the higher prices.

Over the years he never got an increase in his pension and every communication company under the sun has bought AT&T, etc and it became a family joke.

I remember picketing during a strike during a Summer vacation. They had a great union. We have been a big pro-union family my whole life.

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Response to BigmanPigman (Reply #4)

Wed Dec 9, 2020, 09:30 PM

5. I used to hear about the CWA all the time for years

I don't hear them mentioned much anymore. I know the industry has changed quite a bit since the days of the old POTS lines. And nowadays with all the contracting-out, I expect many of those contractors are not unionized.

I've always been in a quandry about whether some industries (like utilities) should remain as "monopolies" while others really need to or should have competition. However when you have small numbers of "competitors" you ultimately end up finding yourself in the middle of a price-fixing circus.

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Response to bucolic_frolic (Reply #1)

Wed Dec 9, 2020, 04:08 PM

3. My all-time favorite 'NY Telephone' commercial:

Definitely NSFW!

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Response to SeattleVet (Reply #3)

Wed Dec 9, 2020, 09:36 PM

6. ...



Where else but NY:?

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