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Facebook may face FTC antitrust suit as soon as this year

The agency is looking at whether Facebook is using its dominant position in social media to stifle competition, The Wall Street Journal reports.

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The FTC is reportedly considering an antitrust lawsuit against Facebook.
Angela Lang/CNET

The Federal Trade Commission is preparing a possible antitrust lawsuit against Facebook that could be filed as soon as the end of the year, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday. The agency is examining Facebook's dominant position in social media, sources told the newspaper.

The case, part of a larger US antitrust investigation into tech companies, focuses on whether Facebook used its dominance in the market to stifle competition, the Journal reported. Sources told the newspaper that no final decision has been made on whether a case will be brought against Facebook.

The agency has previously investigated whether Facebook's purchases of companies such as Instagram and WhatsApp were part of a strategy on the part of the social media giant to stifle competition. Facebook revealed last year that the FTC had launched an antitrust investigation into the company, but the social network didn't provide many details.

Tech giants such as Facebook, Apple, Google and Amazon have faced a flood of scrutiny from government regulators, who've targeted them over potential anti-competitive behaviorprivacy breaches and data misuse. The US Department of Justice is also looking at antitrust concerns regarding tech companies.

The FTC and Facebook declined to comment.