The FTC’s antitrust suit against Facebook is cleared to move forward

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) can move forward with its latest antitrust lawsuit against Meta, a US district judge ruled on Tuesday. The decision is a significant win for the regulator, which had seen its first complaint thrown out by Judge James Boasberg last June.

Per The Washington Post, Boasberg now says the agency can move forward with its complaint thanks to the “more robust and detailed” evidence it presented with its amended suit, which the FTC filed in August. “Although the agency may well face a tall task down the road in proving its allegations, the Court believes that it has now cleared the pleading bar and may proceed to discovery,” the judge said.

In October, Meta asked the court to dismiss the suit, arguing the FTC had failed yet again to present a “factual basis for alleging monopoly power.” The agency’s amended complaint is approximately two dozen pages longer than its original one, but it puts forward many of the same arguments. Specifically, the FTC alleges Facebook used the acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp in 2012 and 2014 to secure its dominant position in the social media market.

“It is unfortunate that despite the court's dismissal of the complaint and conclusion that it lacked the basis for a claim, the FTC has chosen to continue this meritless lawsuit,” the company said at the time. “The FTC's claims are an effort to rewrite antitrust laws and upend settled expectations of merger review, declaring to the business community that no sale is ever final.”

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