Facebook is yet again facing a legal dispute in a U.S federal court for its alleged anticompetitive conduct. And as has been the case on many previous occasions, its small developers suing the company for misconduct. Four companies have stated allegations against the company saying that it inappropriately revoked developer access to its platform to reduce the competition.
The four companies are namely Circl, Beehive Biometric, Reveal chat and Lenddo all of which depend on Facebook for data. They are demanding that Mark Zuckerberg give up control of company by resigning from the position of CEO. Currently, Zuckerberg has control of about 60% of Facebook’s voting shares. They together accused Facebook of “The most brazen, willful anticompetitive scheme in a generation” in the lawsuit filed on Thursday.
The lawsuit said that “The integration, if completed, will not only substantially lessen competition, it may allow Facebook to destroy it” referring to the integration of companys biggest social networking platforms namely Instagram and WhatsApp.
According to the filing at U.S. federal court for the northern district of California, the plaintiffs sought class-action status and unspecified damages.
Facebook is already at loggerheads with small app developers that depend on it for access to user data. This is not the first time Facebook selectively targeted some developers, as these practices go back to 2012.
Earlier investigations against the company include a formal antitrust investigation by federal trade commission in July and a similar probe by a bipartisan group of lawmakers on the house judiciary committee in September. All these lawsuits show deliberate attempts by Facebook to maintain monopoly on competition by hook or crook.
A similar lawsuit was filed by Six4Three, the developer of a now-shuttered bikini photo app. During discovery, Six4Three obtained email and internal documents allegedly showing how much Mark Zuckerberg knew about privacy gaps in the facebook partner API. This same API was abused by Cambridge Analytica to data-mine information on tens of millions of US voters from a few hundred thousand voters. Facebook described this case as Baseless.
Facebook at its end is already facing criticism on its electricity usage, tax avoidance, real-name user requirement policies and handling of data.