The application for antitrust dismissal from Facebook mother Meta is set, US judge says the case can continue


A federal judge has ruled that the Federal Trade Commission’s revised antitrust lawsuit against Meta, formerly known as Facebook, can continue, setting the social media company’s dismissal motion. In a revised complaint filed last August, the FTC argued that the company was pursuing a “buy-or-bury” strategy against rivals in order to stifle competition.

This is the FTC’s second antitrust run at the company. A federal judge dismissed antitrust lawsuits by the agency and a broad coalition of attorneys-general against Facebook in June, part of a step up efforts by federal and state regulators to curb tech titans’ market power.

The FTC is looking for workarounds that could include a forced spin-off of Facebook’s popular Instagram and WhatsApp messaging services or a reorganization of the company.

US District Judge James Boasberg, who ruled in June that the FTC’s original lawsuit was “legally inadequate” and did not provide enough evidence to prove Facebook was a monopoly, said in Tuesday’s ruling that the first complaint ” got out of the starting blocks “.”

But he added that while the lawsuit’s “core theory” – that Facebook is a monopoly of anti-competitive behavior – remains unchanged, this time around the alleged facts are “far more robust and detailed than before.”

Meta said in a statement emailed it was “confident the evidence will expose the fundamental weakness of the claims”.

“Our investments in Instagram and WhatsApp made them what they are today,” the company said. “They were good for the competition and good for the people and companies who chose our products.”

Holly Vedova, director of the FTC’s competition bureau, said the agency had “a vastly modified complaint, a vastly modified complaint, and we look forward to a lawsuit.”

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