Federal Judge Tosses FTC’s Antitrust Case Against Facebook

A federal judge tossed the FTC’s antitrust case against Facebook out of court Monday.

Federal Judge Tosses FTC’s Antitrust Case Against Facebook
Photo of Mark Zuckerberg inf 2018, used with permission.

June 28, 2021—A federal district judge on Monday dismissed the Federal Trade Commission’s antitrust lawsuit filed late last year accusing Facebook of monopolizing the social media industry and engaging in anticompetitive practices.

The case, filed in December of 2020, claimed that Facebook had suppressed market competition through their acquisition of up-and-coming rivals Instagram in 2012 and WhatsApp in 2014.

The case was thrown out by U.S. District Judge James Boasberg, claiming the FTC’s case against facebook was “legally insufficient.”

“The FTC has failed to plead enough facts to plausibly establish a necessary element of all of its Section 2 claims—namely, that Facebook has monopoly power in the market for Personal Social Networking (PSN) Services,” Boasberg said in his opinion.

“The Complaint contains nothing on that score save the naked allegation that the company has had and still has a ‘dominant share of th[at] market (in excess of 60%).’”

Boasberg threw out the FTC’s case, as well as the case filed by Attorneys General from 46 states on the same matter.

Boasberg gave the FTC until July 29 to revise the case and file a new complaint, Reuters reports.

“Although the Court does not agree with all of Facebook’s contentions here, it ultimately concurs that the agency’s Complaint is legally insufficient and must therefore be dismissed,” Boasberg said.

Earlier this year, Facebook had appealed to the Court asking the lawsuit to be thrown out. The FTC “utterly ignores the reality of the dynamic, intensely competitive high-tech industry in which Facebook operates,” the Wall Street Journal reported Facebook as saying.

Facebook has said the states’ case “does not and cannot assert that their citizens paid higher prices, that output was reduced, or that any objective measures of quality declined as a result of Facebook’s challenged actions.”

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