Facebook is entangled in another controversy as it is facing antitrust investigations from the United States Department of Justice.

The new investigations pose a new challenge for Facebook which has been facing scrutiny from the U.S Government, after being fined $5 billion for privacy violations a few months ago.

Facebook had repeatedly misled its 2.2 billion usersby allowing app developers, advertisers, and others gained access to users’ personal data. This is according to the U.S Federal Trade Commission (FTC).  

In a new development, the investigations were said to have been aimed at finding out if Facebook had stifled competition. This was as a result of a tip-off that accused Facebook of anticompetitive conduct, including buying up other tech firms and copying features from rival apps. 

The antitrust investigation is being led by General Letitia James, a New York Attorney who is determined to take actions against Facebook.

“We will use every investigative tool at our disposal to determine whether Facebook’s actions may have endangered consumer data, reduced the quality of consumers’ choices, or increased the price of advertising,” James said.

What this means:  Should Facebook be found guilty by the United States Government, a breakup is definitely imminent for the tech firm. The latest charge should also act as a caution for Facebook to employ better data practices which will lead to safe operations and in turn business growth. 

Apart from this probe, Facebook is also facing scrutiny and investigation of its proposed digital currency, Libra, due for launch in 2020.

Understanding antitrust investigations: These are investigations carried out to prevent businesses from holding too much-centralised power over an industry. If found guilty of antitrust behaviour, the U.S legislators can take action to promote competition by preventing mergers, breaking up big companies, and penalizing companies with fines.