Stars and Stripes stripes.com 22 Dec, 2020 22:30 am

US vs. Facebook: Inside the tech giant's behind-the-scenes campaign to battle back antitrust lawsuits

US vs. Facebook: Inside the tech giant's behind-the-scenes campaign to battle back antitrust lawsuits
Facebook's tense last-minute negotiations in the final days of state and federal probes illustrate the urgency with which the company has sought to rebuff the government's charges — and foreshadow the aggressive tactics it is expected to deploy in the fight to come.

Facebook: Inside the tech giant's behind-the-scenes campaign to battle back antitrust lawsuits State and federal investigators were putting the finishing touches on two landmark antitrust lawsuits against Facebook when the tech giant came to them with an early peace offering: It would help stand up its next competitor.Facebook's tense last-minute negotiations in the final days of the state and federal probes illustrate the urgency with which the company has sought to rebuff the government's charges — and foreshadow the aggressive tactics it is expected to deploy in the fight to come.Since then, state and federal antitrust enforcers contend that these transactions ultimately became part of a pattern of troubling, illegal behavior by Facebook to buy, bully or kill its rivals before they could siphon users and profits from the company's core social service.State and federal officials sought to penalize Microsoft at the time for acting anti-competitively to secure the dominance of its Windows operating system and its then-fledgling Internet Explorer Web browser in the lucrative market for personal computers.

For Facebook, its battle preparations began long before state and federal watchdogs filed their lawsuits this month.The new restriction appeared to be a specific response to state and federal allegations that Facebook had limited this data access to hurt or acquire potential competitors, essentially weaponizing its service to ensure its dominance.

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