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Facebook headquarters (Credit: Jason Doiy)

A would-be class of potentially millions of Facebook users over the age of 40 who were excluded from seeing ads for certain U.S. job opportunities is overbroad and cannot be sustained, several major companies said in new court papers filed Monday in California.

The defendants, including Amazon.com, T-Mobile US and Cox Media Group, are fighting the plaintiffs’ effort to certify a class in a novel age-discrimination lawsuit in San Jose federal court. Facebook Inc. was not sued.

The challengers—the Communications Workers of America and three named plaintiffs—contend the companies discriminated against potential older job applicants by targeting ads exclusively to a younger demographic. The lawsuit includes claims under the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act as well as California state laws.

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