Court dismisses antitrust cases against Facebook

Person logging onto Facebook on a laptop
Person logging onto Facebook on a laptop

The Federal Trade Commission failed to demonstrate that Facebook holds more than 60 percent of the social media market or that it wrongfully acquired Instagram in 2012 and WhatsApp in 2014, U.S. District Judge James Boasberg ruled on Monday.

The FTC has 30 days to file a new complaint, but Boasberg said the 48 state attorneys general who also sued cannot refile.

What was the problem? While the FTC initially allowed the company to purchase Instagram and Whatsapp, its lawsuit claimed those buyouts were anticompetitive.

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But Facebook, which has millions of online users, countered that it still faces significant competition in the industry and in advertising.

A U.S. House subcommittee is advancing a package of bills to rein in Big Tech and more narrowly define monopolies for online social networking platforms. After the decision, Facebook’s market value topped $1 trillion.

This story originally appeared in WORLD. © 2021, reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

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