Tenn. joins multistate lawsuit against Facebook for 'predatory' conduct

Posted at 5:00 PM, Dec 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-09 18:00:33-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The U.S. government and 48 states and districts including Tennessee sued Facebook Wednesday, accusing it of abusing its market power in social networking to crush smaller competitors and seeking remedies that could include a forced spinoff of the social network’s Instagram and WhatsApp messaging services.

“This vast coalition of Democrats and Republicans agree - Facebook’s unlawful behavior is reducing choice, stifling innovation, and degrading privacy protections,” Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III said in a press release. “This lawsuit stands up for millions of Americans and small businesses that have been harmed by Facebook.”

It marks the second U.S. offensive against a Big Tech company this year, following a related suit against Google.

Facebook is the world’s biggest social network with 2.7 billion users, and whose CEO Mark Zuckerberg is the world’s fifth-richest individual and the most public face of Big Tech swagger.

Facebook said the government plan was unfair and would punish a successful business.

Read the full complaint here.

Editor's Note: The Associated Press contributed to this article.