A group of U.S. states led by New York is investigating Facebook for possible antitrust violations and plans to file a lawsuit against the social media giant next week, four sources familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.
The complaint would be the second major lawsuit filed against a Big Tech company this year. The Justice Department sued Alphabet Inc’s Google in October.
More than 40 states plan to sign on to the lawsuit, one source said, without naming them.
Facebook declined to comment.
A group of U.S. states led by New York is investigating Facebook for possible antitrust violations and plans to file a lawsuit against the social media giant next week, four sources familiar with the matter said on Wednesday
The Federal Trade Commission, whose commissioners met on Wednesday, could file a related complaint with an administrative law judge or in district court.
It is not known what the states plan to include in their complaint but it will likely accuse Facebook of creating an anti-competitive social media giant by buying up its competitors
One allegation often made against Facebook is that it has strategically sought to buy small potential rivals, often at a big premium.
These include Instagram in 2012 and WhatsApp in 2014.
The lawsuits will also likely allege that Facebook has left consumers with fewer social media choices after purchasing the other companies.
More to follow
The sources say the investigations are now entering final stages and have looked at how Instagram and Whatsapp have changed since Facebook bought them in 2012 and 2014
In particular, investigators are looking at whether Facebook has left consumers with worse services and fewer privacy protections than if Whatsapp and Instagram had not been bought and remained independent
A protester outside of Mark Zuckerberg’s home urging Facebook to stop the spread of disinformation