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Report: FTC considering injunction against Facebook over antitrust concerns

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission is considering pursuing a preliminary injunction against Facebook Inc. due to competition concerns related to the company's practices for integrating apps and how that impacts rivals, The Wall Street Journal reported Dec. 12.

The report said if the injunction were to be filed, it would likely attempt to keep Facebook from further integrating apps that antitrust regulators may try to unwind in a possible future breakup of the company.

In January, Facebook confirmed plans to unify the messaging infrastructure of WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook. Executives said the move was intended to improve security and privacy.

After news of the plans was reported, the U.S. Department of Justice's top antitrust enforcement official warned that it could get the attention of antitrust enforcers if the practice of integrating platforms caused anti-competitive harm.

Facebook disclosed in July that it was being investigated by the FTC for antitrust concerns. Bloomberg News reported in September that the DOJ also intended to begin an antitrust investigation of Facebook.

An antitrust action or injunction attempt from the FTC could come as early as next month, the Journal reported Dec. 12, citing people familiar with the matter.