As many as 40 U.S. states led by New York are collectively investigating Facebook (FB) - Get Report for potential antitrust violations, with plans to file a lawsuit against the social media giant as soon as next week.
Facebook and other tech giants including Amazon.com (AMZN) - Get Report, Apple (AAPL) - Get Report and Alphabet-owned Google (GOOGL) - Get Report have been accused of using their size and reach to direct consumers to their own products and services, stifling competition in the process.
Specifically, federal and state antitrust authorities are probing whether Facebook is taking advantage of its size and platforms in search and advertising practices - in particular through third-party platforms it owns like Instagram and WhatsApp.
In Facebook’s case, antitrust officials have zeroed in on the social media giant's penchant to buy up smaller competitors and amalgamate them into its digital ecosystem to intentionally eliminate competition.
The Federal Trade Commission, whose commissioners met on Wednesday, could file a related complaint with an administrative law judge or in district court, Reuters reported. Facebook owns both Instagram and WhatsApp.