A US judge on January 11 allowed the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to proceed with its antitrust lawsuit against Meta (formerly Facebook). FTC first filed a lawsuit against Facebook in December 2020, but that was dismissed last June as the Commission had not adequately backed up its claim that Facebook had a monopoly. The FTC then filed an amended complaint in August 2021. In his memorandum opinion released yesterday, District of Columbia Judge James Boasberg accepted the amended complaint and wrote: "Second time lucky? The Federal Trade Commission’s first antitrust suit against Facebook, Inc. stumbled out of the starting blocks, as this Court dismissed the Complaint [...] The FTC has [now] filed an Amended Complaint containing significant additions and revisions aimed at addressing the shortcomings identified in the Court’s prior Opinion." Boasberg, however, added that FTC may "well face a tall task down the road in proving its allegations." What does the FTC lawsuit seek? The lawsuit argues that Facebook has long had a monopoly in the market for Personal Social Networking (PSN) services and it has unlawfully maintained this monopoly by: Acquiring competitors: Acquiring competitors and potential competitors like Instagram and WhatsApp that posed a threat to Facebook's monopoly Preventing interoperability: Enforcing policies that prevent interoperability between Facebook and other apps that were viewed as nascent threats. Read: FTC Sues To Break Up Facebook Again, With More Data To Back Monopoly Argument The lawsuit seeks Facebook's divestment in Instagram and WhatsApp; the former is how the company was able to stay relevant after social media went mobile,…
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