Facebook has asked the court to dismiss state and federal antitrust lawsuits that accuse Facebook of abusing its market power in social networks to suppress smaller competitors.

The social media giant said on Wednesday that these complaints “do not credibly claim” that its actions harmed consumers or market competition.

Antitrust lawsuits filed by the Federal Trade Commission and 48 states in December are seeking remedies, which may include the forced spin-off of the social network’s popular Instagram and WhatsApp services.

Facebook said in a statement: “As we said when the FTC and the state attorney general announced these lawsuits, people all over the world use our products not because they have to do it, but because we can improve their lives,”

The Federal Trade Commission’s lawsuit asserted that Facebook adopted a “systematic strategy” to eliminate competition, including buying smaller promising competitors, such as Instagram in 2012 and WhatsApp in 2014. In response to this view, he said that Facebook “used its monopoly power to crush smaller competitors and stifle competition, all at the expense of daily users.”

The US Federal Trade Commission declined to comment.

James said in an e-mail statement that Facebook was “wrong in law and wrong in our complaint.”

The statement said: “We are confident in our case, which is why almost every state in this country has joined our bipartisan lawsuit to end Facebook’s illegal behavior.”

In the past decade, large technology companies have faced increasing opposition from the growing power of legislators on both sides of the aisle. The possibility of stress relief is very small. President Joe Biden said that serious consideration should be given to splitting up the tech giants.

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Legislators and consumer rights advocates accused Facebook of anti-competitive behavior, most notably the acquisition of aspiring smaller competitors, such as Instagram and WhatsApp, and copying competitors.

Critics say that this strategy suppresses competition and may limit the viable options of consumers looking for alternatives, such as finding comparable services that have less tracking of targeted advertising. If businesses (including moms and popular stores) choose fewer ways to attract online consumers, they may have to pay higher fees for advertising.

These lawsuits may take years to resolve.


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