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More than anything else, the outage just illustrates what can happen when some of the world's most popular social media and communication platforms are owned and operated by a single company.

Some media outlets branded the outage as the biggest in Facebook's history.

Separately, the New York Times reported on Wednesday that US federal prosecutors were conducting a criminal investigation into data deals Facebook struck with more than 150 technology companies such as Amazon.com Inc and Apple Inc.

Facebook is facing a slew of lawsuits and regulatory inquiries over its privacy practices, including ongoing investigations by the US Federal Trade Commission, the Securities and Exchange Commission and two state agencies in NY. Facebook attempted to fix the issue, but it wasn't until around 9:30 a.m. this morning that the company finally announced that the outage was resolved.

Facebook says that a major outage across its family of social networking services was the result of internal problems at the company rather than a BGP route leak at a network operator.

Separately, the New York Times reported on Wednesday that United States federal prosecutors were conducting a criminal investigation into data deals Facebook struck with more than 150 technology companies such as Amazon.com Inc and Apple Inc.

Facebook has said that the server configuration change "triggered a cascading series of issues" for its platforms. The encrypted messaging app does not have ads and runs on user donations. Regions affected include the NY area, parts of California and the Seattle region, according to Downdetector.

"We're focused on working to resolve the issue as soon as possible, but can confirm that the issue is not related to a DDoS attack", Facebook said.

A US Justice Department investigation into the company's data-sharing practices broadened to include a grand jury, a person with knowledge of the matter said Wednesday.

Facebook is yet to officially comment on the impact of the issue but Bloomberg reports that Facebook is still assessing the overall situation and is open to the "possibility of refunds for advertisers".


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