Facebook Antitrust Cases Filed By FTC And States To Be Discarded

Facebook Antitrust Cases Filed By FTC And States To Be Discarded

The state case was signed by attorneys general of 46 states and the District of Columbia and Guam. Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and South Dakota did not join the case.

Facebook asked the court in March to dismiss both lawsuits. The company argued that it was constantly challenged with competition, including from new rivals such as TikTok. It also argued that regulators had failed to demonstrate how the services, which are free, harm consumers. The judge’s dismissal of both lawsuits so early in the trial stunned Facebook’s regulators and executives.

The judge, James E. Boasberg of the US District Court for the District of Columbia, questioned why the states had waited so long to try to cancel Facebook’s Instagram and WhatsApp deals. Supervisors hadn’t tried to block them when they occurred. He also dismissed allegations that Facebook squashed rival apps by blocking their ability to easily interact with the social media platform.

“Ultimately, this antitrust action is based on public, high-profile behavior, almost all of which happened more than six years ago,” he wrote, “before the launch of the Apple Watch or Alexa or Periscope, when Kevin Durant was still playing for the Oklahoma City Thunder and when Ebola was the virus, it dominated the headlines.”

Judge Boasberg, who was appointed to his current position by President Barack Obama, said the FTC does not provide sufficient evidence that Facebook is a monopoly. He said the social media agency’s definition was too vague, and in reference to an interpretation of antitrust law prevalent in courts anchored in consumer prices, he noted that the product was free.

“It’s almost as if the agency expects the court to simply nod to the conventional wisdom that Facebook is a monopolist,” he wrote. “Because no one who hears the title of the 2010 movie ‘The Social Network’ wonders what company it is about.”

But, he said, “‘monopoly power’ is an art term under federal law with precise economic meaning.”

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Rachel Meadows

Rachel Meadows

Trending topics news writer who enjoys cooking, walking her dog and travel.

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