NY AG announces lawsuit to end Facebook 'monopoly'

"For nearly a decade, Facebook has used its dominance and monopoly power to crush smaller rivals and snuff out competition," James said, adding that it did this by using its "vast troves of data and money."

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission and nearly every U.S. state sued Facebook Inc on Wednesday, saying that it broke antitrust law and should potentially be broken up.

With the filing of the twin lawsuits, Facebook becomes the second big tech company to face a major legal challenge this fall.

Video Transcript

LETITIA JAMES: Just a few minutes ago, I led a bipartisan coalition of 48 attorneys general from around the nation in filing a lawsuit against the social networking giant, Facebook. For nearly a decade, Facebook has used its dominance and monopoly power to crush smaller rivals and snuff out competition, all at the expense of everyday users. By using its vast troves of data and money, Facebook has squashed or hindered what the company perceived as potential threats. They've reduced choices for consumers. They stifled innovation, and they degraded privacy protections for millions of Americans.

In an effort to maintain its market dominance in social networking, Facebook has employed a buy or bury strategy to impede competing services. First, Facebook used vast amounts of money to acquire smaller rivals and potential rivals before they could threaten the company's dominance. And I'll say billions were thrown at smaller companies in an effort to get them to sell. The two most glaring examples of this unlawful scheme were Instagram and WhatsApp.

The second and just as harmful anti-competitive strategy Facebook utilized was suffocating and squashing third party developers that were invited to utilize Facebook's platform. Facebook would try to squeeze every bit of oxygen out of the room for smaller companies that refused to be bought.