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Facebook Charged in New Antitrust Lawsuit Filed by FTC

The FTC charges that Facebook broke antitrust laws by purchasing Instagram and WhatsApp to eliminate them as competitors.
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The Federal Trade Commission has filed a new antitrust suit against Facebook  (FB) - Get Facebook, Inc. Class A Report after a judge threw out its previous complaint in June.

The FTC charges that the social-media sultan broke antitrust laws by purchasing Instagram and WhatsApp to eliminate them as competitors. 

As redress, the FTC wants the two popular platforms separated from Facebook.

Facebook told TheStreet by email: "We are reviewing the FTC’s amended complaint and will have more to say soon."

The FTC said in a statement that “[after] repeated failed attempts to develop innovative mobile features for its network, Facebook instead resorted to an illegal buy-or-bury scheme to maintain its dominance.

“It unlawfully acquired innovative competitors with popular mobile features that succeeded where Facebook’s own offerings fell flat or fell apart.

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“Lacking serious competition, Facebook has been able to hone a surveillance-based advertising model and impose ever-increasing burdens on its users.”

Further, “After failing to compete with new innovators, Facebook illegally bought or buried them when their popularity became an existential threat,” said Holly Vedova, acting director of the FTC Bureau of Competition.

“This conduct is no less anticompetitive than if Facebook had bribed emerging app competitors not to compete.”

Facebook stock recently traded unchanged at $355.45. It's up about 32% over the past six months.

The next frontier for Facebook appears to be Metaverse, an advanced version of virtual and augmented reality. Last month, TheStreet.com Founder Jim Cramer explained what Metaverse means for Facebook.

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