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Facebook Under The Pump Over Competition Complaints

In a landmark lawsuit that could force Facebook to sell WhatsApp and Instagram, the social media site has been cited by the US Federal Trade Commission and 46 states over what they say is a strategy to keep rivals small.

Facebook is the second big tech company to face a major legal challenge this year, after the US Justice Department sued Google, accusing the US$1 trillion company of using its market power to fend off rivals.

The complaints accuse Facebook of buying up rivals, focusing specifically on its acquisitions of photo-sharing app Instagram and messaging app WhatsApp.

Federal and state regulators say the acquisitions should be “unwound” – that is, sold off. But the move is likely to face a long legal challenge, as the deals were approved years earlier by the FTC.

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