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December 4, 2020

Facebook Wields User Data To Stifle Competition, Suit Says

A proposed class of consumers has hit Facebook with an antitrust lawsuit in California federal court accusing the social media giant of deceiving consumers about the data-privacy protections it gives users and exploiting the “rich data it deceptively extracted from its users to identify nascent competitors.” Named plaintiffs Sarah Grabert and Maximilian Klein said in their complaint Thursday that Facebook Inc. has been using its market dominance as a “weapon to clear the field of any and all competitors that threaten to take away market share.”

The Facebook antitrust lawsuit targets the company’s alleged misrepresentations about its data privacy protection practices, saying the tech giant’s vow to impose stringent privacy safeguards led users like Grabert and Klein to choose Facebook over other platforms.

Grabert and Klein are represented by Adam B. Wolfson, Stephen A. Swedlow, Kevin Y. Teruya and Brantley I. Pepperman of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP and Warren Postman, Jason Ethridge, Ashley Keller and Benjamin Whiting of Keller Lenkner LLC.

Read more at Law360.com.

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The Facebook antitrust class-action lawsuit seeks to put an end to Facebook’s misrepresentations about its privacy practices and its anticompetitive acquisition conduct; to require Facebook to engage in third-party auditing of its conduct; and to require Facebook to divest assets, such as Instagram and WhatsApp, that entrench its market power.

“It is illegal for Big Tech companies like Facebook to acquire a monopoly by deceiving consumers about the data they harvest and make available to third parties, like Cambridge Analytica,” Keller Lenkner Partner Warren Postman said. “This lawsuit is being filed not just to stop Facebook’s deceptions about its lax data privacy protections, but also to stop Facebook from continuing to entrench its monopoly by using valuable consumer data to identify smaller competitors and target them for acquisition or destruction.”

To Learn More: Consumers who would like to learn additional information or share their experiences can contact Keller Lenkner at 312.741.5220, info@kellerlenkner.com, or by visiting www.kellerlenkner.com.