The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) may proceed with its latest antitrust lawsuit against Meta, a U.S. district judge ruled Tuesday. The decision is a major victory for the regulator, which had its first complaint dismissed by Judge James Boasberg last June.
According to The Washington Post, Boasberg now says the agency can move forward with its complaint thanks to the “robust and detailed” evidence it presented with its amended lawsuit, which the FTC filed in August. “While the agency may have a long task to prove its allegations, the Court believes it has now cleared the plea and can make an inquiry,” the judge said.
In October, Meta asked the court to dismiss the lawsuit, arguing that the FTC had again failed to present a “factual basis for the alleged monopoly power.” The agency’s amended complaint is about two dozen pages longer than the original, but makes many of the same arguments. In particular, the FTC alleges that Facebook used its acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp in 2012 and 2014 to secure its dominant position in the social media market.
“Today’s decision narrows the scope of the FTC’s case by dismissing claims about our platform policy. It also acknowledges that the agency faces a ‘great task’ to prove its case regarding two acquisitions it made years ago. approved,” a Meta spokesperson told Engadget. “We are confident that the evidence will reveal the fundamental weakness of the claims. Our investments in Instagram and WhatsApp have transformed them into what they are today. They have been good for the competition and good for the people and businesses who choose to to use our products.”
Update 5:43 PM ET: Added comment from Meta.
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