NY AG Letitia James: I’m Confident States Will Be Successful In Breaking Up Facebook

NY AG Letitia James: I’m Confident States Will Be Successful In Breaking Up Facebook

NY AG Letitia James: I’m Confident States Will Be Successful In Breaking Up Facebook Photo: New York Attorney General Letitia James speaks during a news conference, June 11, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)/ Photo: In this Oct. 25, 2019, file photo, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks about “News Tab” at the Paley Center, in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

New York Attorney General Letitia James is heading into her legal battle with Facebook full of confidence. 

She recently tweeted an update on her lawsuit to break up the tech giant’s monopoly.

“I’m leading a bipartisan coalition of 48 attorneys general in a lawsuit against @Facebook to end its illegal monopoly. We are taking action to stand up for the millions of consumers and many small businesses that have been harmed by Facebook’s illegal behavior,” James tweeted.

Facebook has used its monopoly power to crush smaller rivals and snuff out competition, all at the expense of everyday users, James said.

Twin lawsuits have been filed — one supported by the states, led by James, and a federal lawsuit. Both suits were filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

“Instead of improving its own product, Facebook took advantage of consumers and made billions of dollars converting their personal data into a cash cow,” James asserts. “Today’s suit should send a clear message to Facebook and every other company: Efforts to stifle competition, reduce innovation, or cut privacy protections will be met with the full force of almost every attorney general’s office in the nation.”

The lawsuits are getting a lot of public and political support, Politico reported. “Facebook’s reign of unaccountable, abusive practices against consumers, competitors and innovation must end today,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said in a statement. “For too long, Facebook has avoided real competition through anticompetitive acquisitions, unchecked power over consumers, and the failure of federal antitrust enforcers to take action.”

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), an ally of President Donald Trump, tweeted, “This is a necessity. The @instagram and WhatsApp mergers with @Facebook were anti-competitive, they were meant to be anti-competitive, and they should be broken up.”

Twitter heated up with talk of the lawsuits.

“Zuckerberg, Sandberg, & Joel Kaplan couldn’t ‘get to’ NY AG Tish James. At that level, it’s like the mafia. They get to politicians to get the regulations they want. You want to talk tough on so-called LOOTERS but give the keys to America to a psychopath to scale, no POLICING,” Jamarlin Martin, founder of The Moguldom Nation, tweeted.

Some talked about taking action on their own. One person tweeted, “I deleted Facebook almost 8 years ago and I never looked back. A toxic environment where your privacy is violated for profit, and the truth gets consistently buried beneath avalanche upon avalanche of shared computer generated lies.”

Another user praised the lawsuits, saying, “The majority of FB users have no idea what Zuckerberg is doing. He needs to be called out and held accountable.”



According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and more than 40 states, Facebook has profited from culling its users’ personal information and social interactions. Until now, this practice has gone unchecked. 

Attorney General James, a Democrat, led the multistate investigation into Facebook parallel with the federal agency lawsuit, which is overseen by a Republican.

Federal and state regulators of both parties investigated Facebook for more than 18 months. The investigation found that Facebook’s purchases — especially Instagram for $1 billion in 2012 and WhatsApp for $19 billion in 2014 — eliminated competition that could have one day challenged the company’s dominance.

Instagram and WhatsApp have helped catapult Facebook from a company started in a college dorm room 16 years ago to an internet powerhouse valued at more than $800 billion, The New York Times  reported.

Listen to GHOGH with Jamarlin Martin | Episode 73: Jamarlin Martin Jamarlin makes the case for why this is a multi-factor rebellion vs. just protests about George Floyd. He discusses the Democratic Party’s sneaky relationship with the police in cities and states under Dem control, and why Joe Biden is a cop and the Steve Jobs of mass incarceration.

Facebook isn’t the only tech company under the microscope. Anti-trust investigations have already resulted in a lawsuit against Google, brought by the Justice Department two months ago. That suit accuses Google of illegally protecting a monopoly. But prosecutors in that case, unlike the suits against Facebook, do not seek to have Google break off any parts of its business. 

Prosecutors want Facebook to break off Instagram and WhatsApp, and they want new restrictions to be applied to the company on future deals. 

Facebook has consistently denied any illegal anticompetitive behavior and says it’s prepared to fight.

“The most important fact in this case, which the commission does not mention in its 53-page complaint, is that it cleared these acquisitions years ago,” said Jennifer Newstead, Facebook’s general counsel, in a statement. “The government now wants a do-over, sending a chilling warning to American business that no sale is ever final.”