In A Flash

Louisiana joins anti-trust lawsuit against Facebook

By: - December 9, 2020 7:25 pm

House Financial Services Committee member Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) questions Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg with Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-VA) during a hearing in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill October 23, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry joined with 48 other state attorneys general Wednesday in an anti-trust lawsuit against Facebook, alleging the company has continuously destroyed or bought out competitors to maintain a monopoly in the social media sphere. 

The lawsuit accuses Facebook of illegally acquiring competitors, such as Instagram and What’s App in a predatory manner and revoking its services to smaller threats it views as competition in an effort to boost its bottom line. The social media giant’s actions have deprived users from the benefits of competition and reduced privacy protections and services along the way, according to a press release from Landry’s office.

“Facebook has thwarted competition and reduced consumer privacy to increase their profits,” Landry said. “This big tech giant has leveraged their monopolist power to extract more lucrative advertising fees while consistency [sic] undermining and abusing user trust.”

The multi-state coalition is asking the court to restrain Facebook from making further acquisitions valued at or more than $10 million without advance notice to the state of New York and other plaintiff states and to provide any additional appropriate relief, including the restructuring of “illegally” acquired companies, other current Facebook assets or business lines, according to the release.

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Wesley Muller
Wesley Muller

Wes Muller traces his journalism roots back to 1997 when, at age 13, he built and launched a hyper-local news website for his New Orleans neighborhood. In the years since then, he has freelanced for the Times-Picayune in New Orleans and worked on staff at the Sun Herald in Biloxi, WAFB-9News CBS in Baton Rouge, and the Enterprise-Journal in McComb, Mississippi. He also taught English as an adjunct instructor at Baton Rouge Community College. Much of his journalism has involved reporting on First Amendment issues and coverage of municipal and state government. He has received recognitions including McClatchy's National President's Award, the Associated Press Freedom of Information Award, and the Daniel M. Phillips Freedom of Information Award from the Mississippi Press Association, among others. Muller is a New Orleans native, a Jesuit High School alumnus, a University of New Orleans alumnus and a veteran U.S. Army paratrooper. He lives in Ponchatoula, Louisiana, with his two sons and his wife, who is also a journalist.