Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., renewed his call for antitrust action against Facebook and other tech platforms on Wednesday, calling it “a little bit ridiculous” that an oversight board was able to determine whether the social media platform’s suspension of former President Donald Trump’s account was justified.
Hawley and other Republicans slammed Facebook after its oversight board – an independent body with binding authority over its content decisions – affirmed the company’s decision to suspend Trump following the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol. A prominent critic of the tech industry, Hawley said the situation proved that antitrust action was necessary to limit Facebook’s authority over online speech.
“Facebook is a private company. They are a monopoly,” Hawley said in an interview with Fox News. “The whole reason that their decisions matter is because they have monopoly power, and until we get serious about confronting their monopoly, they can try to distract us with this board or that self-policing measure or whatever, and it’s not going to matter until we do something about their monopoly.”
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Facebook, Twitter and other tech platforms have faced intense scrutiny from GOP lawmakers and federal regulators in recent months. The Federal Trade Commission and a bipartisan coalition of state attorneys general filed antitrust lawsuits against Facebook last year, accusing the social media giant of anticompetitive business practices.
Hawley said he supports antitrust action that would unwind Facebook’s acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp. He also called on Co
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