There are indications that Facebook Inc could be forced to sell its WhatsApp and Instagram platforms if lawsuits by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission sails through.
According to a CNN report, besides there are nearly every U.S. state filed lawsuits against the social media company, saying it used a “buy or bury” strategy to snap up rivals and keep smaller competitors at bay.
“Federal and state regulators said the acquisitions should be unwound – a move that is likely to set off a long legal challenge as the deals were cleared years earlier by the FTC”.
It added that, “For nearly a decade, Facebook has used its dominance and monopoly power to crush smaller rivals, snuff out competition, all at the expense of everyday users,” said New York Attorney General Letitia James on behalf of the coalition of 46 states, Washington, D.C. and Guam. Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and South Dakota did not participate in the lawsuit.
James said the company acquired rivals before they could threaten the company’s dominance.
Facebook’s general counsel Jennifer Newstead called the lawsuits “revisionist history” and said antitrust laws do not exist to punish “successful companies.” She said WhatsApp and Instagram have succeeded after Facebook invested billions of dollars in growing the apps.
“The government now wants a do-over, sending a chilling warning to American business that no sale is ever final,” the report said.