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US authorities in court demanded from Facebook to sell Instagram and WhatsApp

For many years, Facebook adhered to a “systematic strategy” and bought up “promising competitors”, said the American regulator.

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has filed an antitrust lawsuit against Facebook. The regulator accused the company of anti-competitive behavior and maintaining a monopoly on social networks around the world for many years.

In a lengthy investigation, together with the attorneys general of 46 states and the District of Columbia and Guam, the FTC concluded that Facebook was systematically buying up promising competitors, including Instagram in 2012 and WhatsApp in 2014, and imposing anti-competitive conditions on developers to eliminate the threat to its monopoly. ...

Specifically, Facebook allegedly made key APIs available to third-party apps only on the condition that they refrain from developing competing features.

The regulator demanded through the court to remove Instagram and WhatsApp from the company's assets, prohibit Facebook from imposing anti-competitive conditions on developers and oblige in the future to first request approval of future transactions.

This position has provided Facebook with huge profits, the commission said in a statement. In 2019, the revenue of the social network exceeded $70 billion, and the profit — $18.5 billion.

The FTC began an antitrust investigation against Facebook in June 2019, as the company itself reported in one of its reports. What actions of the social network will be investigated, then it was not reported.

In November 2020, sources for The Washington Post reported that the FTC investigation was in its final stages and that the regulator was coordinating with state leaders. The interlocutors of the publication argued that the authorities want to challenge the deals for the purchase of Instagram and WhatsApp.

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