OK, I've now taken a tour through the 128 pages of the state lawsuit. I can hear all of the hot takes now but let me just say for the record - this is exactly the lawsuit I hoped that they would file against the company. /1
The lawsuit significantly includes the intersection of privacy and antitrust and the erosion of privacy as Facebook achieved market power and could weaponize data. It also significantly covers buy or bury, onavo, instagram, WhatsApp. /2
Overall, it's a very smart read on Facebook, Inc. As much as industry pundits like to say govt can't understand tech or digital media, I've been in online biz for 26yrs and there isn't one thing in this complaint I read and said, "they don't GET IT." That's impressive as hell. /3
Check out how they describe Facebook's business model. I mean that's entirely it in seven simple words.

"Selling ads based on detailed user data" /4
Check out how they differentiated Facebook's social ad business from Google's search advertising (both are classified as display advertising). /5
#253... yes #253 of 277 alone could cover a significant amount of Facebook's woes to those in the media industry: metrics failures, fake accounts, brand safety concerns, fighting off proper audits. It's why I've previously said they could be an Enron and we wouldn't know it. /6
#254... yes #254 of 277 hits on the massive ad boycott which Zuckerberg boasted had very little impact. It's easy to understand problem when advertisers lack of choice and competition allows FB to value all content sources equally whether toxic sludge or premium content. /7
But let me take you through the core of the complaint which gets me so excited. It won't be a surprise to anyone who has had to listen to me for the past decade. I would give @DinaSrinivasan a lot of credit as she researched and documented much of this in an awesome paper. /8
It's all about harvesting data outside of consumer expectations - intersection of data and competition. Note complaint states Facebook's unique ability to target/track users/data on & off Facebook's properties. UK Competition authority also nailed this - their "secret sauce." /9
As @DinaSrinivasan covered in her antitrust paper (you should read it if you care about this complaint), Facebook leaned heavily into privacy in its early years as a differentiator to previous participants in their space. /10
once FB needed ability to collect data4$ across our web/devices/locations/lives (Sandberg learned at Google), they rolled out surveillance, disguised as tools, to now more than 8mm sites. I lived this "bait & switch" when I was on the other side of it. Wrote about it in WSJ. /11
here is more on the "bait & switch" as @DinaSrinivasan calls it in her paper. Facebook promised publishers it wouldn't use the data for anything but driving traffic. They refused to put it in contracts, though, as FB likely knew they would later flip switch and use for ads $. /12
I didn't know about this one but it's a simple example of how Facebook recognized privacy was a benefit and value to users and they were possibly creating competitive risk by ignoring it while Google was for a short time trying to compete with Facebook. Until Google couldn't! /13
These two items in the section on Facebook's decision to spend $19 Billion for a company (WhatsApp) it has still failed to monetize are a really good example of Facebook's broken ethical compass. It's why I deleted the apps not just Facebook Blue but Instagram and WhatsApp. /14
There is a German antitrust decision from their cartel office which I've previously mentioned that already mandates FB can't collect/share data across its family of apps or the web...it's why I've always thought it to be very important and relevant to any scrutiny of FB. /15
More here on how Facebook went to war on privacy once Google+ was out of the way again. They even launched and buried privacy tools that likely hurt their business when they started to get used... /16
I'll attach this section at the end which again really captures @DinaSrinivasan's paper. Anyway, those tweets were all about the intersection of data & competition. There is even more on FB's "buy or bury" efforts. /17
And for those who have tracked the Cambridge Analytica cases, I remind you the DC AG on this exec committee also has his own '18 suit awaiting Judge's decision on depositions/discovery of top FB execs. And this section is mysteriously and unusually redacted. That's all folks. /18
one more tweet for those who read to end. This thread focused mostly on the data/privacy piece of suit. The evidence of "buy or bury" efforts Onavo, Insta, WhatsApp, etc is very compelling. antitrust minds who don't want to argue consumer welfare will also highlight them! /19
Inserting this previous thread to connect some dots. OK, dinner time. Next comes the FTC complaint vs Facebook. What's that you say? Yes, they filed also. Very similar but a few nuances. https://twitter.com/jason_kint/status/1333646257294864385?s=20
since a few asked about Cambridge Analytica redactions, here is the case brought by @AGKarlRacine (on exec committee of state case filed today). On Sept 7th, Judge stated she would rule on depositions/discovery of Sandberg, Kaplan, Schrage & Zuckerberg. 🥁 https://twitter.com/jason_kint/status/1314010193135632390?s=20
OK, now sharing some other threads. Pleased to see @linamkhan also praising the states’ suit. Lina was on staff of Judiciary Committee during its impressive antitrust investigation, wrote the Antitrust Paradox about Amazon and is way smarter than me so good to see this thread. https://twitter.com/linamkhan/status/1336828056695136259
And here is @matthewstoller who wrote Goliath among other things. Also deep on antitrust. His thread. https://twitter.com/matthewstoller/status/1336824319452835843
Good point on press coverage miss by @superwuster. https://twitter.com/superwuster/status/1336805928587448323
Adding links to a couple items I referenced and people have asked for... here is @DinaSrinivasan’s antitrust paper. https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3247362
good thread from FTC Commissioner @chopraftc https://twitter.com/chopraftc/status/1336755685091127296?s=20
and @Sally_Hubbard who wrote the book, "Monopolies suck," among other things and used to work in the NY State AG office thread is here... https://twitter.com/Sally_Hubbard/status/1336792217000800256
Some shade from Rhode Island's @davidcicilline who brilliantly chaired the House antitrust investigation which put forward considerable evidence and analysis on Facebook as the regulators were digging in parallel. https://twitter.com/davidcicilline/status/1336829015722774530?s=20
Let’s pause for a word from @NewYorkStateAG
And this is the final report from the UK CMA (Competition & Markets Authority) from their investigation of Facebook. it includes the finding I referenced about a majority of Facebook's data collection happening on properties not even owned by Facebook. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5efc57ed3a6f4023d242ed56/Final_report_1_July_2020_.pdf
that moment when you check Twitter and see a thread took off so you read what you wrote :). Listen, the best antitrust paper to read hitting the entire case would be @ProfFionasm @DavidDinielli. p25-29 covers my focus⬆️(data) but they really nail it all. https://omidyar.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Roadmap-for-an-Antitrust-Case-Against-Facebook.pdf
@ProfFionasm was reported in the room when the state AGS originally met in NY with experts when they kicked off the investigation last October so her input is likely all over these lawsuits. https://www.wsj.com/articles/state-attorneys-general-antitrust-experts-mull-legal-grounds-for-building-facebook-case-11571710090
and for those who came for the antitrust, I would highly recommend their roadmap on Google, particularly the advertising case. It's the single document I most often reference especially for those intimidated by the UK CMA report. https://twitter.com/jason_kint/status/1262473851969175552?s=20
lastly, I'd also recommend @ZephyrTeachout who recently published "Break 'Em Up"... I haven't caught a thread from her yet but she's informed much of the debate as the halo came off Facebook. And who can forget @FBoversight @carolecadwalla and all of their accountability work?
For the record, how the press called it.
I need to link to my thread from the House Judiciary report. Here we go. This was a critically important investigation in parallel to the states and FTC. https://twitter.com/jason_kint/status/1313573970353041408
You can follow @jason_kint.
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