Former Reagan Anti-Trust Lawyer Sues Apple, Facebook, Google, Twitter for $1B
Last Wednesday, Freedom Watch filed a class-action lawsuit against four social media giants, claiming that Apple, Facebook, Google, and Twitter acted in concert to suppress conservative speech online. Larry Klayman, founder of both Judicial Watch and Freedom Watch, helped President Reagan's Justice Department break up AT&T, and two counts against the social media giants focus on anti-trust law.
Klayman appeared on Fox Business the day before the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing involving Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.
"I'm a former anti-trust lawyer, as you know, Charles," Klayman told Charles Payne, a co-host of the Fox Business show "Varney & Co." "I helped break up AT&T when I was a young Justice Department lawyer during the Reagan administration."
The class-action suit explicitly demands damages in excess of $1 billion for four causes of action: illegal agreement in restraint of trade, a violation of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act; intent to monopolize, a second violation of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act; discrimination in violation of the Washington, D.C. code; and a violation of the First Amendment to the Constitution.
In his brief interview on Fox Business, Klayman laid out the principle of "conscious parallelism." While the lawsuit argues that Apple, Facebook, Google, and Twitter consciously engaged in a conspiracy against conservatives, the conspiracy need not be conscious to be actionable under anti-trust law.
"When companies move in tandem, in parallel fashion to do the same thing, that can be restraint of trade," the Freedom Watch founder explained. "So we believe there's an actual agreement between these leftist-owned media giants like Google, Twitter, YouTube, et cetera. [But if not,] it's conscious parallelism."
According to the lawsuit, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Twitter "have engaged in a conspiracy to intentionally and willfully suppress politically conservative content."
The suit cites many sources, including the PragerU lawsuit against Google/YouTube for discrimination against conservatives, Ben Shapiro's National Review article about discrimination through algorithms, and PJ Media Supervising Editor Paula Bolyard's article revealing 96 percent of Google search results for "Trump" news came from liberal sources. The suit also cites the more scientific Can I Rank study that backed up Bolyard's suggestions.
The Freedom Watch lawsuit also cites a Gizmodo article in which former Facebook workers confessed to suppressing conservative news. One of them admitted, "I believe it had a chilling effect on conservative news."
Freedom Watch is a client, a user, and a competitor of Google, YouTube, and Facebook. The organization also suggested that a great many conservative organizations fall into the same category, and face the same kind of discrimination and monopolization that these social media companies use against Freedom Watch.