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

Reuters | Washington DC | Updated: 04-10-2021 22:38 IST | Created: 04-10-2021 22:36 IST
Facebook again asks judge to dismiss U.S. lawsuit to force sale of Instagram, WhatsApp
Representative image Image Credit: Pixabay
  • Country:
  • United States

Facebook Inc asked a judge on Monday to dismiss the U.S. government's revised antitrust case that seeks to force the social media giant to sell Instagram and WhatsApp after he threw out an earlier version in June.

Facebook said in a court filing that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) had failed to provide a "plausible factual basis for branding Facebook an unlawful monopolist." The FTC's amended complaint filed in August adding more detail on its accusation the social media company crushed or bought rivals and again asked Judge James Boasberg of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Boasberg ruled in June that the FTC's original complaint filed in December failed to provide evidence that Facebook had monopoly power in the social-networking market. The FTC argued at length in its revised complaint that Facebook dominates the U.S. personal social networking market with more than 65% of monthly active users since 2012.

Facebook filing said the FTC's complaint 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 along party lines in August to file the amended lawsuit and denied Facebook's request that agency chair Lina Khan be recused.

Facebook on Monday said the court should dismiss the complaint because Khan's "participation in the decision to file the (amended complaint) violates due process and federal ethics rules." It called the revised complaint "invalid." The agency also in August repeated its request that a court order Facebook to sell Instagram, which it bought in 2012 for $1 billion, and WhatsApp, which it bought in 2014 for $19 billion.

"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 said. "The FTC cannot credibly claim Facebook has monopoly power because no such power exists."

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Give Feedback