Apr 27, 2023 - Technology

Meta notches win in states' antitrust suit

Illustration of a small Meta logo under a magnifying glass surrounded by a larger, out of focus version

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A federal appeals court upheld the dismissal of an antitrust suit against Meta Thursday, notching a win for the social media giant in a case brought by 48 U.S. states and territories over its acquisitions of WhatsApp and Instagram.

Why it matters: Meta is developing a track record of winning antitrust cases in the U.S., even as it faces continued challenges in court and from regulators here and abroad.

What's happening: The court said states waited too long to file suit and were aware of the acquisitions when they were happening.

  • The decision points to a tough road ahead for the Federal Trade Commission's ongoing case against Meta, in which the agency has alleged that Facebook's two acquisitions a decade ago were anti-competitive.

Flashback: The suit by a group of state attorneys general, filed in 2020 in parallel to the FTC's suit, was initially dismissed by Judge James Boasberg in June 2021.

  • Meta also prevailed against the Federal Trade Commission in its attempt to stop its acquisition of virtual reality fitness company Within in February.

What they're saying: "In affirming the dismissal of this case, the court noted that this enforcement action was 'odd' because we compete in an industry that is experiencing 'rapid growth and innovation with no end in sight,'" a Meta spokesperson said in a statement.

  • "Moving forward, Meta will defend itself vigorously against the FTC’s distortion of antitrust laws and attacks on an American success story that are contrary to the interests of people and businesses who value our services."
Go deeper