A group of US states led by New York plan to launch an antitrust lawsuit against Facebook next week, CNBC reports.
The lawsuit, if it comes to fruition, would be the second major government lawsuit against a tech giant this year. The federal Justice Department launched a lawsuit against Google in October after it was revealed that Google paid Apply billions of dollars annually to be the default search engine on their phones.
More than 40 states are planning on joining the lawsuit.
The news comes less than a month after it was reported that the Federal Trade Commission was pursuing an antitrust lawsuit against the social media company. The lawsuit, according to reports, would attempt to force Facebook to surrender many of its holdings including WhatsApp and Instagram. The company has come under fire by proponents of antitrust for acquiring smaller social media companies and collecting user data.
The FTC, however, is also considering handling their issues with Facebook internally, a move which experts say is more likely to be successful but would likely take longer and would exclude individual states from participating in the suit.
Facebook has come under bipartisan scrutiny for years now, with Democrats alleging that the platform does not do enough to combat hate and misinformation while Republicans express concerns over freedom of speech being curtailed by the company, among other tech giants such as Google and Twitter. The concerns over free speech were magnified earlier this year when Facebook and Twitter chose to suppress stories about Hunter Biden which turned out to be true, bringing scrutiny to Facebook's attempts to thwart the spread of fake news.
Both Democrats and Republicans, meanwhile, have expressed concerns over the company monopolizing the social media market, a bipartisanship exemplified by the large number of states reportedly pursuing lawsuits against the company.
The company also faced scandal in 2018 over the use of its data after it was revealed that Cambridge Analytica exploited the data of some 87 million users of the platform, most of whom did not consent to their Facebook data being provided to the firm.
Reports did not reveal which specific allegations against Facebook the states plan to pursue.
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