OKLAHOMA (KFOR) – Oklahoma Attorney General John O’Connor signed on to a bipartisan coalition of state attorneys general from throughout the nation in a court appeal to continue challenging Facebook’s alleged “illegal efforts to stifle competition and protect its monopoly power.”
The move comes after the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia dismissed the states’ lawsuit against Facebook, now known as Meta.
The coalition – led by New York Attorney General Letitia James – filed an appeal brief arguing that the ruling dismissing the states’ case was in error.
“We are asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to allow this lawsuit to proceed to hold Facebook accountable for its anticompetitive conduct and to ensure that Oklahomans have a choice in the marketplace,” said Attorney General John O’Connor.
The attorneys general assert that Facebook illegally acquired competitors in a predatory manner over the past decade and “cut or conditioned services to smaller threats — depriving users of the benefits of competition and reducing privacy protections and services along the way — all in an effort to boost its bottom line through increased advertising revenue,” according to the Oklahoma AG’s office.
Attorneys general from 45 states and attorneys general from the District of Columbia and the territory of Guam are part of the bipartisan coalition.
The coalition filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in December 2020 to stop what the attorneys general describe as Facebook’s anticompetitive conduct.
Facebook’s legal team filed a motion to dismiss. The U.S. District Court granted the motion last summer.
The appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit is asking the court to allow the coalition to move forward with their lawsuit.
Also, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed an amended complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against the social media company. The court denied Facebook’s motion to dismiss the FTC’s complaint, in a ruling earlier this week.
The coalition’s appeal is led by an executive committee comprised of the attorneys general of New York, California, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee and the District of Columbia. The executive committee is joined by the attorneys general of Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming and the territory of Guam.