Facebook is accused of anti-competitive practices by 40 US states. A complaint against the social network for violations of the antitrust laws will be filed during the next week. Like other GAFA companies, Facebook is in the crosshairs of the American authorities.
GAFA (Google-Amazon- Facebook – Apple) are targeted by an antitrust investigation launched by the American justice. The authorities accuse digital companies of anti-competitive practices intended to consolidate their dominance in the market. In recent months, complaints and lawsuits have been raining down on American giants. In October 2020, the United States Department of Justice, for example, filed a complaint against Google (Alphabet), which has become ubiquitous in online search and advertising.
Facebook is not spared. According to our colleagues at Reuters, 40 American states led by New York have extensively investigated the actions of the Californian group. A complaint signed by the leaders of the 40 states will be filed with justice next week.
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Towards a dismantling of GAFA?
For now, the content of the complaint is still unknown. According to Reuters information, it will focus mainly on how Facebook is taking over potential small rivals at exorbitant prices. This is what happened with WhatsApp, bought in 2014 for $ 16 billion, and Instagram, traded at $ 1 billion in 2012. At the same time, it is rumored that the Federal Trade Commission, an independent agency of the government aimed at combating anti-competitive commercial practices, is also preparing to file a complaint for similar reasons.
In this explosive context, many elected Democrats suggest dismantling all GAFA companies. Having become too powerful, Apple, Google, Amazon and Facebook would represent a danger for society. The apostles of dismantling wish to force firms to separate their activities in order to allow other actors to be able to compete with them. As a reminder, the United States government has already dismantled companies that have become too powerful, especially at the beginning of the last century. This was the case with American Tobacco, one of the world’s largest tobacco and cigarette producers, and Standard Oil, an oil refining and distribution company, in 1911.