Jun 28, 2021 - Technology
Judge dismisses FTC's antitrust complaint against Facebook
A federal district judge on Monday dismissed the Federal Trade Commission's antitrust complaint alleging Facebook engaged in anticompetitive practices.
Driving the news: The judge described the FTC's complaint as "legally insufficient" in making the case that Facebook has monopoly power in the personal social network market.
Details: The FTC suit, filed in December, asked the court to unwind Facebook's acquisitions of Instagram and Whatsapp, among other remedies.
- In his ruling, Judge James Boasberg of the Federal District Court in D.C. wrote: "The FTC’s complaint says almost nothing concrete on the key question of how much power Facebook actually had, and still has, in a properly defined antitrust product market. It is almost as if the agency expects the court to simply nod to the conventional wisdom that Facebook is a monopolist."
What's next: The order notes the FTC can refile its complaint.
- The complaint lacked specifics on the metrics or methods the FTC used to calculate Facebook's market share, but the judge noted "this defect could conceivably be overcome by re-pleading."
Separately, the same judge dismissed a parallel antitrust lawsuit brought by a coalition of state attorneys general.
- Boasberg wrote that the states had waited too long to challenge acquisitions that occurred nearly a decade ago.
- A spokesperson for the New York Attorney General's Office said, "We are reviewing this decision and considering our legal options.”