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...

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