Meet the Chicago attorneys suing Fb
It could be a huge class: In July, Facebook had nearly 2.5 billion daily active users, according to the lawsuit, when all product offerings, including Instagram, were counted. It is said that Facebook has acquired 63 companies since 2004 under a strategy known as “copy, buy or kill”.
An integral part of this strategy was the clandestine use of data from Facebook customers and their “friends” to monitor emerging social media companies and “cheat the path to market dominance”.
“Facebook has used the data it has received from users to keep track of the websites and apps its users visit – often without full disclosure – to determine which upcomers have gained traction to buy or sell them Winning destruction, “it claims.
Facebook did not have an immediate comment.
Stephen Swedlow, a partner in Quinn Emanuel Urquhart and Sullivan’s Chicago office and senior attorney on the case, did not provide potential remedial action in dollars. “When the court recognizes a value. . . It’s a very big case. “
The timing of the lawsuit reflects increasing political and regulatory momentum to contain the giants of Silicon Valley for antitrust reasons after Cambridge Analytica announced that data from tens of millions of Facebook customers was used to attract voters in the 2016 presidential election influence.
In October, the Justice Department and eleven attorneys general sued Google for monopoly practices.
“As with the historic antitrust cases against AT&T in 1974 and Microsoft in 1998, the Department is re-enforcing the Sherman Act to restore the role of competition and open the door to the next wave of innovation – this time in digital markets,” Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen said in a statement.
Meanwhile, it has been reported that the Federal Trade Commission and various attorneys general are on the verge of filing similar antitrust lawsuits against Facebook.
“Facebook, although it acquired its monopoly, illegally maintained it,” argues Swedlow. The law firm Keller Lenkner in Chicago also represents the plaintiffs. Warren Postman, a Washington, DC-based partner, accused Facebook of “sniffing at its customers at the same time, and then using that information to destroy their competitors.”
The legal teams have worked together before. They filed a pending lawsuit against Amazon last year over privacy issues related to recording and archiving votes from Alexa customers, Swedlow says.
Swedlow, who has defended companies like Uber in court, says he stopped using Facebook “years ago” and doesn’t have a Twitter account.
“I wouldn’t say I’m paranoid,” he says, but adds, “I’m very aware of how little privacy (customers) are when they use social media.”