Washington Post: Federal antitrust investigators could seek injunction targeting Facebook’s plans to integrate apps

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Federal regulators probing Facebook for violations of antitrust law have considered seeking a preliminary injunction against the company, aiming to halt the tech giant’s plans to integrate its social-networking app with the other services it owns.

The legal move — described by a person familiar with the matter but not authorized to discuss a law-enforcement proceeding — would mark a major new threat for Facebook as the Federal Trade Commission forges ahead with an inquiry that has explored the competition concerns posed by its prior purchases of Instagram, a photo-sharing app, and WhatsApp, a messaging service.

FTC officials have not decided whether to take that course of action, the person said, which would require the commission to vote and then seek the permission of a court. The FTC and its Republican chairman, Joe Simons, declined to comment for this article, as did Facebook.

For now, some competition experts said that the FTC could be hamstrung if it doesn’t seek to stop Facebook from integrating its services. Absent that, it could prove difficult to penalize or unwind the company, if the government later finds Facebook violated the law.

Read the full article on the Washington Post.

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