Following the lawsuit filed against Google, the Federal Trade Commission is currently deciding whether there should be an anti-trust lawsuit filed against Facebook for its massive share of power in social networking.
On Thursday, members of the Federal Trade Commission met to discuss Facebook’s market power and whether it was becoming a monopoly by buying smaller competitors. Before a lawsuit is filed, the commissioners must vote on it. As of now, the three documents that the Federal Trade Commission is looking at are the company’s antitrust violations, analyzing their economics, and assessing risks of litigation, according to The New York Times.
Both Facebook and the Federal Trade Commission have not yet commented.
This comes after the Justice Department sued Google on Tuesday, citing its illegal monopoly power in search and search advertising.
The lawsuit against Google comes after the House Judiciary Committee recommended taking action to break up huge companies such as Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google. This lawsuit was the first government action against any technology company in two decades.
The breaking of these big tech companies is a bipartisan effort, supported by both conservatives and liberals.
In 2011, Facebook met with the Federal Trade Commission over privacy issues, and reached a privacy settlement in the same year. In 2018, there was an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission for Facebook violating the 2011 settlement, when it gave Cambridge Analytica access to Facebook users personal information. Facebook made a $5 billion settlement with the Federal Trade Commission on data privacy violations.
The Federal Trade Commission has focused primarily on two of Facebook’s biggest mergers, with Instagram and WhatsApp, to create a monopoly. Facebook bought WhatsApp for $19 billion in 2019 and Instagram for $1 billion in 2012. Both mergers were approved by the commission.
Facebook has denied any allegations of violating anti-trust laws.
Earlier this month, the staff of the House Judiciary Commission said Facebook “has tipped the market toward monopoly such that Facebook competes more vigorously among its own products — Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger — than with actual competitors.”