- New York attorney general Letitia James told Bloomberg a Facebook breakup was “on the table”.
- James is leading antitrust proceedings against Facebook with other states.
New York attorney general Letitia James, who is leading an antitrust case against Facebook, said liquidation of the company was “on the table,” Bloomberg Businessweek reported.
In an interview with the publication, James described Facebook as a monopoly and said the social media giant’s users had “nowhere else to go”.
“Facebook’s monopoly harms consumers, the market and advertisers,” she said. Liquidating the company is “one of the many means on the table,” she said. She also cited precedents, including the government-mandated division of AT&T into eight smaller companies in 1984.
“We want Facebook to stop its anti-competitive behavior and reverse the damage it caused,” James told Bloomberg.
Facecbook did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
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James filed antitrust proceedings against Facebook in December, claiming the company illegally suppressed competition to protect its monopoly power. She heads a non-partisan group of 48 attorneys general from across the country. Users have no alternative to Facebook. The company acquired the Instagram photo sharing app in 2012 and the WhatsApp messaging app in 2014.
“Facebook used its power to stifle competition so it could take advantage of users and make billions by turning personal information into a cash cow,” James said in a December statement.
James also leads several attorneys general in a bipartisan antitrust investigation into Google parent company Alphabet over its alleged monopoly. “These companies aren’t too big to fail or split up,” she told Bloomberg.
In early 2020, the Democrats in the US House of Representatives concluded that Facebook, Alphabet, Apple and Amazon had a monopoly of power. Last October, the Justice Department launched an antitrust lawsuit against Alphabet. At the time, Google was the first technology company to take major antitrust measures as the federal government tried to break up Microsoft in the 1990s. The action posed a threat to other technology giants like Facebook, Apple and Amazon, which could be subject to profound changes as a result.