Report: At least 40 states and the FTC are planning to file antitrust lawsuits against Facebook


WASHINGTON D.C. – A recent report has alleged that at least 40 states are planning to bring an antitrust lawsuit against Facebook as early as next week, the week of December 7th. 

A coalition of states, led by New York, is preparing the lawsuit as the BigTech giant faces a similar probe by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Reportedly, this would be the second major case taken against a BigTech firm this year following the Department of Justice’s lawsuit against Google in October. 

It is not yet clear what the states’ complaint will include, but Facebook has faced recent scrutiny for buying smaller rivals such as Instagram and WhatsApp to bolster its own business. 

FTC, whose commissioners met on Wednesday, December 2nd, could file a related complaint with an administrative judge or in district court. Back in September 2019, New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) confirmed that she was spearheading a bipartisan group of states investigating Facebook for antitrust issues. At the time, the attorney general said:

“We don’t comment on the details of an ongoing investigation, but as we have said before, we will continue to use every investigative took at our disposal to determine whether Facebook’s actions stifled competition, reduced choices, or put user data at risk.”

Both Facebook and Google have denied using their power in an anti-competitive manner, claiming that they operate in extremely competitive markets and that their services benefit consumers. 

However, despite the ongoing antitrust investigations and lawsuits, both BigTech firms are on a spending spree to buy rival and tech startups.

On Monday, November 30th, Facebook announced that it had purchased a customer service chatbot startup calling Kustomer for $1 billion, which is the same amount that the company paid for Instagram back in 2012.

This new deal is just another sign that the largest tech companies in the world will not stop buying smaller companies despite facing enormous antitrust scrutiny. Reportedly, Google is also awaiting approval for the acquisition of the health and fitness tracking device manufacturer Fitbit for $2.1 billion. 

Allegedly, Facebook is also planning to acquire the animated image sharing service Giphy for $400 million. Lawmakers have repeatedly brought up the claims in recent congressional hearings and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was questioned by lawmakers during a hearing back in July.

Zuckerberg and the firm have repeatedly denied antitrust claims. During a censorship hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee involving Zuckerberg, Senator Amy Klobuchar brought up Facebook and its ownership of the two other social media companies. 

She brought up emails the Facebook founder sent prior to buying Instagram in 2014, in which he referred to the app as a competitor. He responded by saying:

“At the time, I don’t think we or anyone else viewed Instagram as a competitor, as a large, multi-purpose social platform.”

He added:

“In fact, at the time, people at the time kind of mocked our acquisition because they thought that we dramatically spent more than we should have on something that was primarily a photo and camera-sharing app.”

In 2019, the Department of Justice and FTC began antitrust investigations into four BigTech companies, which included Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Apple. The outcome of antitrust lawsuits against either company could vary widely.

If any of the firms fail to win the legal challenges, they could be forced to spin off parts of their businesses or commit to changing certain practices. Reportedly, Facebook, the FTC, and James’ office have declined to comment on the situation. 

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BigTech giants Google and Facebook are getting hit with more antitrust lawsuits

December 2nd, 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C.- The Wall Street Journal recently reported that BigTech giants Google and Facebook are likely to have long legal battles in the near future as federal and state antitrust authorities prepare to file lawsuits against them.

Reportedly, the authorities are readying as many as four additional cases targeting Google or Facebook by the end of January 2021, following the U.S. Department of Justice’s antitrust lawsuit against Google back in October 2020.

The Department of Justice said that the action was brought to:

“Restrain Google from unlawfully maintaining monopolies in the market for general search services, search advertising, and general search text advertising in the United States through anticompetitive and exclusionary practices, and to remedy the effects of this conduct.”

According to reports, the lawsuits focus on whether the tech giant abused their power in the internet economy, focusing on Google’s position in the search and advertising industry and Facebook’s dominance in the social media market.

Both BigTech companies have denied doing so, claiming that they operate in highly competitive markets and that their services, which are mostly free, benefit consumers. 

Google, specifically, has made plenty of statements in the past defending its practices, essentially stating that consumers are not forced to use Google products and services and that they exist as part of a competitive technology marketplace.

Broadly speaking, the case specifically against Google is that it uses its dominance in search and search advertising to box out potential competitors. Among its many tactics is pay to have Android phone manufacturers set Google search as default and pre-loading devices with Google apps.

Reportedly, the company also pays to have Google set as the default search engine on the iPhone as well. 

According to another report, 50 state attorney generals, led by Ken Paxton of Texas, teamed up back in 2019 to launch an investigation, not a lawsuit, into Google over anticompetitive practices in its ad business. 

Some of those same attorneys are who teamed up with the Department of Justice in October to filed the lawsuit against the company. Included in some of the cases is a coalition led by Paxton that could be filed by mid-December.

Allegedly, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is ready to approve a lawsuit against Facebook over the company’s acquisition of would-be competitors Instagram and WhatsApp. A case against Facebook would be the U.S. government’s first major antitrust action against the social media company.

The lawsuit filed against Google in October is the largest legal challenge that Google has every faced and one that could stretch out in court for years. It could also result in the company being forced to separate aspects of its business if the government wins. 

A successful lawsuit could also cause consequences for Amazon, Facebook, and Apple. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai all appeared in front of lawmakers back in late July 2020 to face questioning.

This event marked the first time that the CEO’s testified at the same congressional hearing. House Democrats released a report of their findings in early October, declaring the companies to be monopolies that need to be regulated and even potentially broken up.

Reportedly, the companies are also facing scrutiny outside of the U.S. The EU filed an antitrust complaint against Amazon in early November, accusing the company of using third-party sellers’ data to inform its own retail strategies.

The EU also hit Apply with an antitrust investigation back in June to determine if the company gave its Apple Pay service an unfair advantage over competitors.

Regulation of the industry has become heavily politicized in the U.S. over the last year with both Republicans and Democrats calling for BigTech social media companies like Facebook to take more accountability in how it operates its online platforms. 

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Sen. Ted Cruz blasts Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, Big Tech over censorship issues

November 19th, 2020

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) has been one of the stalwarts in the United States Senate, along with Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), going after the Big Tech tyrants.

Law Enforcement Today is one of the many pro-police and conservative leaning outlets that has been victimized by the tyranny of Big Tech, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, all of whom have either throttled our content or in the case of LinkedIn, booted our national spokesman and our founder off the platform.


Breitbart News reported that on Fox Business Network’s Evening Edit on Tuesday, Sen. Cruz said that “abuses of power” by the tech companies will “get worse in coming years,” and will be “aided and abetted by Democrats that want to silence someone who disagrees.”

The senator said:

“One of the most chilling aspects of today’s hearing in the Judiciary Committee was Senate Democrat after Senate Democrat, their questions were essentially…why don’t you censor more?

“Why do you allow these views we don’t like to be heard or to exist? I think that is really, really dangerous. And I do think you’re going to see the abuses of power get worse in coming years with—aided and abetted by Democrats that want to silence someone who disagrees.”

Sen. Cruz noted Tuesday was a “rough day” for big tech, as the CEOs of Twitter and Facebook faced sharp questioning from Republicans while Democrats sat on their hands, CNS News reported.

Sen. Cruz told Fox Business:

“And ‘tween (sic) Facebook, Twitter, and then Google, which is really the 800-pound gorilla, we have enormous concentration of power, and I think they collectively pose the single greatest threat we have for free speech in this country because they’ve been getting more and more brazen.”

The senator noted Twitter appears to be “the most brazen” when it comes to censoring speech that it disagrees with. Twitter placed warning labels on several of President Trump’s tweets.

Twitter also banned the New York Post from the platform when they broke the story about Hunter Biden’s laptop, a story which alleged his using his father’s position as vice-president to enrich not only himself but his family, including Joe Biden.

Sen. Cruz said:

“Big tech asserted the power to just silence them because they didn’t like what they were reporting. I think it’s really dangerous.”

Sen. Cruz also singled out Democrats on the Judiciary Committee for fawning over Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, throwing them platitudes while only criticizing them for not censoring enough.

He added:

“And, you know, there used to be in a time in the Democratic Party where you would have defenders of free speech. You would have defenders of a free media. Today’s Democratic Party doesn’t do that.

“One of the most chilling aspects of today’s hearing in the Judiciary Committee was Senate Democrat after Senate Democrat, their questions were, essentially—and you mentioned Senator Blumenthal, he was one of the more aggressive on this—their questions were, why don’t you censor more?”

The Texas senator has three ideas on how to rein in Big Tech censorship:

The first idea is to repeal Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. This section gives special immunity from liability that essentially shields social media companies from liability for content on the platform since they are not acting in the capacity of a publisher.

Sen. Cruz says by giving this protection to social media companies such as Twitter and Facebook, they are not acting in the capacity of publishers. The fact that they decide what can and cannot go on their platforms makes them, in fact, publishers.

Social media, when it came about over 20 years ago, was given Section 230 protection because it was believed that such platforms would be neutral, more like an electronic town square.

Second, Sen. Cruz said:

“We can and should use the anti-trust laws. Under any measure, Big Tech is bigger, more powerful, has larger market caps than AT&T was when it was broken up.

“Under the antitrust laws, it’s bigger and more powerful than Standard Oil was when it was broken up under the anti-trust laws.”

The senator also said the Federal Trade Commission should be “using Section 5 authority for deceptive conduct.”

Finally, Sen. Cruz said the focus should be “directly on consumer deception and breaking the promise to consumers.”

The promise made by social media companies is “if you follow someone, you’re going to see what they have to say; and if someone follows you, they’re going to see what you have to say.”

Sen. Cruz said the Big Tech giants break that promise every day, noting that if they “don’t like your views, they silence you, they shadowban you, and I think we ought to pursue all three of them.”

Sen. Cruz continued that Democrats are not interested in pursuing any action but prefer to look at themselves as guardians of Big Tech and wanting them to censor more, not less.

During Tuesday’s Senate hearing, Sen. Cruz made the point that Twitter was, in fact, acting as a publisher and not a distributor of information. He said Twitter decides when to block certain tweets or label them in certain ways.

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Anti-Trump Tik Tok users try to sabotage President's rally, accidentally end up donating nearly K to GOP

Dorsey, however, said that Twitter was not in fact acting as a publisher when it censored the New York Post, claiming that it was Twitter’s policy to block the distribution of hacked materials.

Sen. Cruz railed at Dorsey:

“Except your policies are applied in a partisan and selective manner.

“You claim it was hacked materials, and yet you didn’t block the distribution of the New York Times story that alleged to talk about President Trump’s tax returns, even though a federal statute makes it a crime to distribute someone’s tax returns without their consent. You didn’t block any of that discussion, did you?”

Dorsey claimed that in the New York Times case, “We interpreted it as reporting about the hacked materials, not the distribution of the (hacked materials).”

Sen. Cruz shot back, “Did you block Edward Snowden when he illegally released material?”

“I’m—I—I don’t have the answer to that,” Dorsey replied.

“The answer is no,” Sen. Cruz said. “You have used this in a selective manner.”

Sen. Cruz then asked Dorsey if he was an expert on voter fraud.

“No, I’m not,” Dorsey said.

“Well, why then is Twitter right now putting purported warnings on virtually any statement about voter fraud?” Cruz asked.

Dorsey replied, “We are—we’re simply linking to a broader conversation so that people have more information.”

Sen. Cruz angrily reacted to Dorsey’s statement:

“No, you’re not! You put up a page that says, ‘Voter fraud of any kind is exceedingly rare in the United States.’ That’s not linking to a broader conversation. That’s taking a disputed policy position…

“…and you’re a publisher when you’re doing that. You’re entitled to take a policy position, but you don’t get to pretend you’re not a publisher and get a special benefit under section 230 as a result.”

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