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The antitrust lawsuits were announced by the Federal Trade Commission and New York Attorney General Letitia James.
MARCY GORDON and MICHAEL R. SISAK
WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal regulators on Wednesday sued to force a breakup of Facebook as 48 states and districts accused the company in a separate lawsuit of abusing its market power in social networking to crush smaller competitors.
The landmark antitrust lawsuits, announced by the Federal Trade Commission and New York Attorney General Letitia James, mark the second major government offensive this year against seemingly untouchable tech behemoths. The Justice Department sued Google in October for abusing its dominance in online search and advertising — the government’s most significant attempt to buttress competition since its historic case against Microsoft two decades ago. Amazon and Apple also have been under investigation in Congress and by federal authorities for alleged anticompetitive conduct.
The FTC said Facebook has engaged in a “a systematic strategy” to eliminate its competition, including by purchasing smaller up-and-coming rivals like Instagram in 2012 and WhatsApp in 2014. James echoed that in her press conference, saying Facebook “used its monopoly power to crush smaller rivals and snuff out competition, all at the expense of everyday users.