The four companies are Beehive Biometric, an identity-verification website; Cir.cl, an online marketplace and social media platform; Lenddo, a Singapore-based financial services provider; and Reveal Chat, a messaging service.
In a federal lawsuit filed in San Francisco on Thursday, the firms accuse Facebook of running “the most brazen, willful, anticompetitive scheme in a generation” throughout the last decade.
They allege that the result of Facebook’s ownership of Instagram and WhatsApp is “one of the largest unlawful monopolies ever seen in the United States.” The firms also refer to Facebook’s planned integration of the services, claiming it could increase costs for consumers and leaves the door open for surveillance of users.
“The integration, if completed, will not only substantially lessen competition, it may allow Facebook to destroy it – for a very long time,” the suit reads.
It also demands that Zuckerberg sells his majority stake in the company. The 35-year-old acts as Facebook’s CEO and chairman and controls approximately 60 percent of the company’s voting shares.
“There is no adequate remedy of law to prevent the irreparable harm that has [resulted] – and will continue – to result from Zuckerberg’s continued control of Facebook,” the companies said.
Facebook is already the subject of antitrust investigations by the Federal Trade Commission, the Justice Department, the House Judiciary Committee and a group of dozens of attorneys general.
Cir.cl and Beehive Biometric are now defunct, while Reveal Chat was acquired by a music-streaming service in 2015.’