The Social Media giant Facebook, may face antitrust charges from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), United States (U.S.) as early in November, 2020.
Five Members of the Federal Trade Commission met privately to discuss the investigations, and state the attorney general, who under the leadership of New York's Letitia James has been closely scrutinizing Facebook for potential threats to hampering competition, cited by sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe a law-enforcement matter.
Federal Trade Commission is responsible for consumer protection in the States.
According to the FTC, three documents about Facebook were prepared by the agency and were circulated among its leaders. Out of the three documents, one pertains to the company's potential antitrust violations, second relates to analysis of its economics and third relates to assessment of risks of litigation against them.
Facebook earlier had faced similar allegations by the Justice Department and by state attorneys general and stated previously that the investigations were looking at prior acquisitions and business practices involving "social network or social media services, digital advertising, and/or mobile or online applications." In July 2019, Facebook had also agreed to pay a record-breaking $5 billion fine to resolve a separate Federal Trade Commission probe into the company's privacy practices.
A lawsuit against Facebook would be making it the second major antitrust action against Silicon Valley in the coming weeks.
The House of Judiciary Committee two weeks ago had recommended to sought action to break up the gian tech companies platforms, involving Facebook, Amazon, Apple and Google. Previously, U.S. government had united with 11 states to sue Google on Tuesday against the allegation that it was reportedly engaged in illegal practices and anti-competitive tactics to ensure the dominance of its search engine.
The Federal Trade Commission, which is one of the country's two competition enforcement agency, has fixed its prospect on Facebook's purchase and acquisition of its past rivals including Instagram and WhatsApp to the extent to which the tech giant's expansion of corporate footprints has come to violate antitrust laws.
Facebook spokesman Chris Sgro said in a statement "Acquisitions are part of every industry, and just one way we innovate new technologies to deliver more value to people," this month in response to lawmaker's report.
Investigators headed by Rep. David N. Cicilline (D-R.I.), the chairman of the House antitrust subcommittee, said the trove they amassed ultimately showed how Facebook's past purchases "tipped the social networking market toward a monopoly."
Facebook resolutely has contended to the charges, pointing to the fact that federal regulators had the option to prevent it from acquiring Instagram and WhatsApp but in the end, they did not.
The company's arguments indicates the likelihood of a major, lengthy legal battle between the tech giant and state and federal antitrust enforcers that try to exact severe penalties for Facebook's business practices. As of now, no case has been initiated however the commissioners must vote before any case is pursued against Facebook.