Facebook could be forced to sell its precious WhatsApp and Instagram apps after legal actions launched yesterday by the Federal Trade Commission (Ftc) and almost all US states accused of using a strategy ” buy or bury ”to grab rivals and keep smaller competitors at bay.
Facebook is the second major tech company to face a major legal challenge this year, after the U.S. Department of Justice sued Alphabet’s Google in October, accusing the $1 trillion company of using its market power to thwart rivals.
The lawsuits highlight the growing bipartisan consensus to hold Big Tech accountable for their business practices and mark a rare moment of agreement between the Trump administration and Democrats, some of whom have proposed the dissolution of both Google and Facebook.
The accusations made yesterday challenge Facebook to buy the rivals, in particular that of the Instagram photo-sharing app for 19 billion dollars in 2014.
According to federal and state regulators, the acquisitions are expected to be canceled, a move that is likely to spark a lengthy legal dispute because the operations were then approved by the FTC itself.