REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

Facebook again asks judge to dismiss U.S. lawsuit to force sale of Instagram, WhatsApp

WASHINGTON, Oct 4 (Reuters) – Facebook Inc (FB.O) requested a judge on Monday to dismiss the U.S. authorities’s revised antitrust case that seeks to force the social media large to promote Instagram and WhatsApp.

Facebook mentioned in a court docket submitting that the Federal Commerce Fee (FTC) had failed to present a “plausible factual basis for branding Facebook an unlawful monopolist.” The corporate added it seems the FTC “had no basis for its naked allegation that Facebook has or had a monopoly.”

The social media large requested that the lawsuit be dismissed with prejudice, which might make it more durable for the company to amend the lawsuit. The FTC declined to remark.

Judge James Boasberg of the U.S. District Courtroom for the District of Columbia dominated in June that the FTC’s unique grievance filed in December failed to present proof that Facebook had monopoly energy within the social-networking market. learn extra

The FTC’s amended grievance, filed in August, added extra element on its accusation the social media firm crushed or purchased rivals and again requested Boasberg to order the sale of Instagram and WhatsApp.

The FTC argued at size in its revised grievance that Facebook dominates the U.S. private social networking market with greater than 65% of month-to-month lively customers since 2012.

Facebook submitting mentioned the FTC’s grievance was “at odds with the commercial reality of intense competition with surging rivals like TikTok and scores of other attractive options for consumers.”

The FTC voted 3-2 alongside celebration strains in August to file the amended lawsuit and denied Facebook’s request that company chair Lina Khan be recused.

In its movement, Facebook argued that the FTC vote to file the amended grievance was not legitimate as a result of Khan participated.

It included an extended collection of statements from Khan, made earlier than she grew to become chair of the FTC, which had been important of the social media large. In a collection of tweets from December 2020, she praises lawsuits introduced by the FTC and state attorneys basic saying “hopeful that it marks yet another step forward in the growing efforts to rehabilitate antitrust laws.”

Facebook additionally notes that the FTC is suing to undo mergers that it had authorized: Instagram, which it purchased in 2012 for $1 billion, and WhatsApp, which it purchased in 2014 for $19 billion.

“The FTC challenges acquisitions that the agency cleared after its own contemporaneous review…,” the movement mentioned. “The case is entirely without legal or factual support. This is as true now as it was before.”

Facebook additionally included a dissent from FTC Commissioner Christine Wilson, a Republican, who had voted to oppose submitting the amended lawsuit as a result of the FTC had raised no objections to the Instagram and WhatsApp offers.

“The FTC’s fictional market ignores the competitive reality: Facebook competes vigorously with TikTok, iMessage, Twitter, Snapchat, LinkedIn, YouTube, and countless others to help people share, connect, communicate or simply be entertained,” a Facebook spokesperson mentioned. “The FTC cannot credibly claim Facebook has monopoly power because no such power exists.”

Reporting by David Shepardson; Modifying by Lisa Shumaker

Our Requirements: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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