The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the attorneys-general of 46 US states filed lawsuits last Wednesday seeking what amounted to a do-over on Facebook — the chance to reject two acquisitions that helped make the social network the behemoth it is today. 

Those acquisitions — the $1bn purchase of mobile picture-sharing network Instagram in 2012 and the $19bn purchase of messaging service WhatsApp two years later — absorbed fledgling companies that had threatened to draw users away from Facebook. Yet the FTC initially approved both mergers, and the states did not try to stop them at the time they were announced...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as articles from our international business news partners; ProfileData financial data; and digital access to the Sunday Times and Sunday Times Daily.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now