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AG News Release: Attorney General Shikada Joins Multistate Coalition in Continuing Fight to End Facebook’s Illegal Monopoly

HONOLULU – Hawai‘i Attorney General Holly T. Shikada joined a bipartisan coalition of 48 attorneys general from around the nation in continuing to fight to end Facebook’s illegal efforts to stifle competition and protect its monopoly power. The coalition led by New York Attorney General Letitia James, filed an appeal brief arguing that the district court’s ruling dismissing the states’ case was in error. The coalition argues that the court was wrong to dismiss their case as time-barred, and made additional legal and factual errors. Over the last decade, Facebook, now known as Meta, acquired competitors in a predatory manner and cut or conditioned services to smaller threats — depriving users of the benefits of competition and reducing privacy protections and services along the way — all in an effort to boost its bottom line through increased advertising revenue.

“Facebook has employed a “buy or bury” strategy that harms the market, which has enabled it to become a durable monopoly in the personal networking services market,” said Attorney General Shikada.  “This appeal is a critical step in the states’ effort to hold Facebook accountable for its actions to suppress competition, as well as impair innovation and privacy protections.”

In December 2020, the coalition filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to stop Facebook’s anticompetitive conduct. The company filed a motion to dismiss, which was granted by the court last summer. The appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit asks the court to allow the coalition of attorneys general to move forward with their suit.

Separately, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) also filed an amended complaint against Facebook in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. In an earlier ruling, the court denied Facebook’s motion to dismiss the FTC’s complaint, allowing the FTC’s action to proceed.

The appeal is being led by an executive committee comprised of the attorneys general of New York, California, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, and the District of Columbia. The executive committee is joined by the attorneys general of Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, and the territory of Guam.

The appeal brief can be found here.

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For more information, contact:

Gary H. Yamashiroya

Special Assistant to the Attorney General

Email:  [email protected]

Web: http://ag.hawaii.gov

Twitter: @ATGHIgov