Attorneys General, FTC File Antitrust Lawsuits Against Facebook

In this Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020, file photo, a demonstrator joins others outside of the home of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to protest what they say is Facebook spreading disinformation in San Francisco.

In this Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020, file photo, a demonstrator joins others outside of the home of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to protest what they say is Facebook spreading disinformation in San Francisco. AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

 

Connecting state and local government leaders

Trump administration proposes $600 direct payments… Protests disrupt a vote on an Idaho mask mandate… Michigan undertakes an election audit.

More than 40 attorneys general joined the Federal Trade Commission Wednesday in filing wide-ranging antitrust litigation against Facebook to challenge the social media giant’s acquisition of photo-sharing app Instagram and messaging app WhatsApp. In two lawsuits filed in federal court, state and federal prosecutors said those deals expanded Facebook’s expansive reach and gave the company the power to weaponize its data to ensure no competitor could catch up. Federal prosecutors accused Facebook of “illegal monopolization” and asked a federal judge to intervene in a way that could require the company to divest assets, including Instagram and WhatsApp. They are also seeking to bar Facebook from making any acquisitions worth more than $10 million while the case is pending. The lawsuits represent an unprecedented challenge to one of Silicon Valley's most powerful corporations. "For nearly a decade, Facebook has used its dominance and monopoly power to crush smaller rivals and snuff out competition," said New York Attorney General Letitia James said at a press conference Wednesday. "By using its vast troves of data and money, Facebook has squashed or hindered what the company perceived to be potential threats." Facebook General Counsel Jennifer Newstead called the litigation “revisionist history.” “Antitrust laws exist to protect consumers and promote innovation, not to punish successful businesses,” she said in a statement. Attorneys general from 46 states, Washington, D.C. and Guam joined the lawsuit. Attorneys general from Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and South Dakota did not join. [CNBC, Washington Post, NPR]

COVID RELIEF | The Trump administration has proposed sending direct payments to most Americans rather than providing federal unemployment enhancements as part of the latest round of negotiations over a coronavirus relief package. The latest Trump administration proposal would cost about $916 billion and include $600 stimulus checks, a decrease from the $1,200 direct payments many Americans received this spring. The proposal would slash unemployment funding from $180 billion to $40 billion, eliminating a $300-per-week federal unemployment benefit that was included in a $908 billion proposal introduced by a bipartisan group of senators. [Associated Press]

IDAHO PROTESTS | Public health officials in Idaho canceled a meeting to consider a mask mandate for four counties after protests against the proposed ordinance grew so intense that police had to intervene. Protesters gathered outside both the Central District Health Board of Health meeting in Boise and several members’ homes Tuesday night. One health board member, Ada County Commissioner Diana Lachiondo, interrupted the online meeting in tears to say she needed to leave the meeting to go home, where protesters had gathered and frightened her 12-year-old son who was at the house by himself. Boise and Elmore counties have not had mask mandates previously. [Idaho Statesman, USA Today]

OFFICER AGE REQUIREMENT | A California lawmaker introduced a bill this week that would require police officers in the state to either obtain a bachelor’s degree or turn 25 years old before starting careers in law enforcement. The state currently requires that police officers must be 18 years old and have a high school diploma or the equivalent. Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer said the measure was meant to help reduce the number of times that police shoot or hurt people. “These jobs are complex, they’re difficult, and we should not just hand them over to people who haven’t fully developed themselves,” he said. [Sacramento Bee

MICHIGAN AUDIT | The Michigan Bureau of Elections will conduct its “most comprehensive post-election audits” in the state’s history as part of an effort to demonstrate "the integrity of our election,” said Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. The audits will include reviews of 200 voting jurisdictions and a “complete zero-margin risk-limiting audit” of Antrim County, which has been a focus of the Trump campaign’s complaints about voter fraud. The county sent unofficial election results to the state on election night that made it appear that Democrat Joe Biden had  received more votes, when Trump had won the country by nearly 4,000 votes. The errors were corrected and officials said they were merely a mistake. [Detroit News, Detroit Free Press]

Andrea Noble is a staff correspondent with Route Fifty.

FEATURED CASE STUDIES
Powered By The Atlas
Corpus Christi Deploys COVID Management System to Improve Data & Eliminate Time-Consuming Tasks
Corpus Christi, TX, USA
Safer Holiday Celebrations Connect Residents and Support Local Business in Franklin, TN
Franklin, TN, USA
Mobile-first Crisis Communications in Dublin, OH
Dublin, OH, USA

NEXT STORY: 'It's All Gone Too Far:' A State Election Official Takes on Trump and the Age of Misinformation

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.