Is Zuckerberg more influential than the government

Alleged monopoly - US government and 48 states are suing Facebook

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  • The US government and 48 states are suing Facebook on allegations of unfair competition.
  • You accuse the Internet company of having built an illegal monopoly.
  • Among other things, the takeover of the photo service Instagram in 2012 and the chat service WhatsApp in 2014 are denounced.
  • Facebook rejects the allegations.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and a non-partisan alliance of states led by New York Attorney General Letitia James filed their lawsuits against Facebook on Wednesday. The FTC accuses the Internet company of having pursued a “systematic strategy” through the acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp in order to eliminate threats to its own monopoly.

The lawsuit proposes a possible measure to force Facebook to sell individual business units. In recent years, the group has brought together the technical infrastructure behind the platform of its online network, as well as Instagram and WhatsApp. That would make a split technically more difficult.

Facebook has used its monopoly power to wipe out competition.
Author: Letitia James Attorney General of New York

New York Attorney General James said: "Facebook has used its monopoly power to crush smaller rivals and wipe out competition, all at the expense of everyday users." The lawsuit should send a clear message to Facebook and other companies: That attempts to stifle competition, hinder innovation or curtail privacy protection would be pursued with all might.

Facebook speaks of competition

Facebook bought Instagram for around $ 1 billion and WhatsApp for about $ 22 billion. At the time, the takeovers did not trigger any objection from regulators in the USA - even if critics argued that Facebook had thereby incorporated competitors who could have become dangerous.

The online network counters that both services could have reached their current size with well over a billion users, not least thanks to the technical platform of Facebook. In addition, there is still a lot of competition. Facebook founder and boss Mark Zuckerberg had also tried to buy the Snapchat photo app. However, their founders rejected the offer.

Proceedings pending against Google

For a long time, online heavyweights were only very loosely regulated in their home market, the USA. In the end, however, the mood changed. In October, the government and eleven states targeted Internet giant Google with a competition lawsuit. The allegation is that Google protects its dominant position in Internet search and the associated advertising in an illegal manner.

The company rejected this. Legal experts doubt that the lawsuit will succeed. Among other things, it has to prove that US consumers are harmed by anti-competitive behavior on the part of Google.

SRF 4 News, December 9th, 2020, 10 p.m.; awp / sda / sibl; schp

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  • Comment from Stefan Gisler (Stefan Gisler)
    We are to blame for it, we use Facebook and Insta etc. We users have made this tool and Zuckerberg so powerful. The rest is known. Same with google. Well, now the machinery is running and is unstoppable ... unless we users change our behavior, which will probably not happen, the dependency and addiction is strong.
    Agree agree to the comment
  • Comment from Paul Wagner (päule)
    It cannot be that companies can be more influential / powerful than states. Nor can it be that companies can evade laws and requirements in the real world through shifts in the virtual world.
    And the only way to combat this is through the USA, because these companies have their headquarters / home port there.
    I congratulate that you are now slowly recognizing this in the USA.
    (However, this also shows the failure of the US competition authorities)
    Agree agree to the comment
  • Comment from Samuel Müller (Samuel Müller)
    The media “corrects untruths”. So so! Exciting statement from Mr. Spillkamp.
    Here only different powers fight for their spheres of influence and each appropriates the only truth and justice for itself. In this respect, an editor-in-chief is no different from a platform CEO or politician. Today everyone tries to enforce his or her opinion and interests. Fortunately, the judiciary still has a clearly defined task.
    Agree agree to the comment

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