The US competition authority is preparing a case against the technology giant and the social media company Facebook, said an insider. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) had targeted Facebook for a year.
The FTC wants to know if Facebook, which includes WhatsApp and Instagram, has used its dominant position to eliminate competition. The source does not wish to be cited as the FTC investigation is confidential. According to the insider, no final decision has been made as to what will happen to the investigation.
A majority of the five FTC commissioners must vote for it to go to court. Such a case would be a significant expansion of the US government’s struggle against the technology giants, which are increasingly in the crosshairs of Washington because of their dominant position. The Justice Department is preparing to sue Alphabet, Google’s parent company, within weeks.
Facebook had no comment. The FTC also declined to comment.
Defended before Parliament
The business newspaper The Wall Street Journal previously wrote about the preparation of a possible lawsuit against Facebook. Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg was questioned by the FTC last month in connection with the investigation. This is to show whether Facebook violated competition law when it took over Instagram and WhatsApp. In a US Parliament hearing in July, along with other tech chiefs, Zuckerberg defended the deals, saying Facebook faces stiff competition.
The big technology companies are increasingly under the microscope of the US authorities. A Senate committee argued Tuesday that Google was abusing its market position to stifle competition and gain even more market share.