AGs' Lawsuit Accuses Facebook Of Gobbling Up Competitive Threats


Facebook crushes the competition. That's one of those cliches. We used to talk about. Big successful. Companies is facebook crushing the competition. Legally or illegally. That's something the courts will decide. The federal trade commission and attorneys general from across the country are suing facebook. They say the company eliminated competition by either buying other companies or making it impossible for them to succeed connecticut. Attorney general william. Tong is one of the forty eight eight involved in the suit. Thank you sir for being here. Good morning oil. Facebook has been a dominant company. Four years now. Why filing this lawsuit right now. you don't facebook has expensive and power and what is done without our and its market dominance is. It's it's engaged in a program of what we call by in berry where they either by their competitors or if they don't play ball and sell they crushed their competitors and what they've done is they've crushed any threat to their business and their market domination. They've eliminated choice for consumers and they beat third party app developers and software developers into submission. And your argument is that's illegal. That's not just being smart competitive business. No it's not just being smart when you're a business like facebook and you essentially dominate an entire field that means so much to people today particularly in a global pandemic in public health when we rely so much on technology to stay in touch with our friends. Our family to do business to sell products to advertise Social media's become central really in our lives and when you're the dominant market player You have an obligation not to abuse that power and what a facebook has done. It's it has abused. Its market power to keep competitors out of the marketplace and the leverage that market power to prejudice. Anybody who doesn't play by facebook's rules okay but how have users been hurt by what you're alleging. Facebook has done the ordinary people of connecticut. How are they getting hurt here. So they really don't have any choice. They because facebook not only is the dominant player in its own right through facebook but because they bought instagram Which targets a younger generation including my kids and whatsapp. Widely globally used social messaging And also a direct peer to peer messaging app. Because they've done that. You really have very limited options and so you don't have a choice on where you go to For social media number one or two by products for example on on facebook facebook marketplace. And if you're a small business in connecticut Or even a bigger business and you want advertisers sell products. You really have to use facebook or one of its companion products so you don't have any choice because of their facebook argues that there is competition and i will tell you the young people in my life that the teens the tweens. They don't care about facebook at all. They're all on tiktok. Is it possible that in five ten years facebook will be kind of irrelevant or at least not the behemoth is now and that this is just sort of panicking over something that companies become dominant for a few years and they tend to fade know. Our view is Unless we do something. That won't be the case because facebook has frankly so much money and so much market power and that's why they're buyer berry strategy so successful because they can go and pay outside prices for instagram and whatsapp and essentially stifled competition. That way so no. We think that Unless the court takes action and unless the forty eight states plus the ftc are successful. Facebook will continue to dominate. The space facebook's general counsel makes an interesting argument noting that facebook bought instagram in two thousand and twelve and bought whatsapp a few years later and federal regulators said that was fine and now basically. They're going back on what they said. What do you think about that argument. Well we certainly weren't part of that determination and we look forward over the next two years to more robust antitrust enforcement enforcement of our nations and our states antitrust laws and the states the forty eight of us have done our own investigation and now in concert with the federal trade commission have determined that facebook is acting illegally. Okay connecticut attorney general william tom. Thanks so much for your time today. We appreciate it. Thank you well.

Coming up next