US antitrust action against Meta set to proceed - Mobile World Live

US antitrust action against Meta set to proceed

13 JAN 2022
antitrust

A US district court gave the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) a second chance to bring an antitrust case against Meta Platforms, reigniting the possibility the company could be forced to divest key assets.

The FTC’s revised plan was judged to be stronger than an initial lawsuit against Meta Platforms, which was dismissed. A judge highlighted improvements to the agency’s allegations the company has established a monopoly and acted to protect a dominant market position.

In addition, the court found the FTC had bolstered an argument showing how Meta Platform’s acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp helped the company maintain its monopoly.

The judge asserted the updated FTC case is “far more robust and detailed than before”.

A bid by Meta Platforms to have the lawsuit dismissed was rejected, clearing the way for the case to go to trial. However, the judge described the work ahead of the FTC as a “tall task”, indicating the agency still may struggle to prove the social media giant illegally restricted competition and should be forced to sell WhatsApp and Instagram.

The court dismissed claims regarding Facebook policies governing interoperability with other platforms because they are no longer in use.

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Martha DeGrasse

Freelance tech journalist Martha DeGrasse (@mardegrasse) is delighted to be contributing to Mobile World Live. Martha has written for a number of telecom and wireless publications, and was a writer, editor and video producer at RCR Wireless News for almost...

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