Attorney General Tong Continues Fight to End Facebook's Illegal Monopoly
(Hartford, CT) -- Attorney General William Tong today joined a bipartisan coalition of 48 attorneys general continuing to fight Facebook’s illegal efforts to stifle competition and protect its monopoly power. Today, the coalition — led by New York Attorney General Letitia James — filed an appeal brief arguing that the district court’s ruling dismissing the states’ case was in error. The coalition argues that the court was wrong to dismiss their case as time-barred, and made additional legal and factual errors. Over the last decade, Facebook, now known as Meta, illegally acquired competitors in a predatory manner and cut or conditioned services to smaller threats — depriving users of the benefits of competition and reducing privacy protections and services along the way — all in an effort to boost its bottom line through increased advertising revenue.
“Facebook used its market power and consumer data to unlawfully acquire and quash its competition. Their predatory conduct degraded consumer privacy and suffocated innovation. We are asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to allow our suit to proceed to restore healthy competition and end Facebook’s illegal monopoly,” said Attorney General Tong.
In December 2020, the coalition filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to stop Facebook’s anticompetitive conduct. The company filed a motion to dismiss, which was granted by the court last summer. Today’s appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit asks the court to allow the coalition of attorneys general to move forward with their suit.
Separately, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) also filed an amended complaint against Facebook in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. In a ruling earlier this week, the court denied Facebook’s motion to dismiss the FTC’s complaint, allowing the FTC to proceed.
The appeal is being led by an executive committee comprised of the attorneys general of New York, California, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, and the District of Columbia. The executive committee is joined by the attorneys general of Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, and the territory of Guam.
Assistant Attorney General Nicole Demers and Jeremy Pearlman, Chief of the Antitrust and Government Program Fraud Department, are assisting the Attorney General with this matter.