On 9 December 2020, the US Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) commenced proceedings against Facebook for unlawful maintenance of its social networking monopoly. In its complaint, the FTC alleges that Facebook has engaged in a systematic strategy—including acquisition of up-and-coming rival Instagram in 2012, acquisition of the mobile messaging app WhatsApp in 2014, and the imposition of anticompetitive conditions on software developers—to eliminate threats to its monopoly.

The FTC seeks a permanent injunction in federal court including but not limited to divestitures of assets, including Instagram and WhatsApp; prohibition of Facebook from imposing anticompetitive conditions on software developers; and requiring Facebook to seek prior notice and approval for future mergers and acquisitions.

The press release can be found here.

Scroll Up