Plaintiff Joe Kovacevich filed a lawsuit on Monday in the Northern District of California against the social media giant alleging that the platform illegally monopolized the social network market. The complaint accuses Menlo Park, California-based Facebook, Inc. of both misusing user data and quashing emergent competitors with its “acquire, copy, or kill” strategy.
Like other antitrust suits filed against Facebook, the instant complaint claimed that Facebook obtained and held dominance in the social network market through predatory and exclusionary behavior. In turn, the plaintiff averred, he and other putative class members, any person who maintained a Facebook profile since 2007, suffered economic injury.
The 75-page complaint also argued that Facebook made false claims about the level of protection it afforded users’ data. It explained that had rivals been able to contend with the defendant, “fair competition would have required Facebook to provide consumers greater value in return for their data, but Facebook instead took that data without providing adequate compensation.” The complaint seeks recovery of Facebook users’ losses, and other equitable relief to stop Facebook from continuing “to destroy competition and harm consumers.”
Notably, the complaint comes shortly after Judge Lucy H. Koh issued an order relating eight antitrust cases similarly alleging that Facebook monopolized the social network, social media, social data, and/or social advertising markets. According to the court’s Feb. 9 order, the consolidated complaint is due Apr. 22, followed by the motion to dismiss on May 20.