A federal judge has ruled that the revised antitrust suit pursued by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) against Meta can proceed, shutting down the social media company’s request for a dismissal.
In a revised complaint filed last August, the FTC argues that the company pursued a “buy or bury” strategy against rivals to suppress competition.
This is the FTC’s second antitrust legal challenge against the company. In June last year, a federal judge dismissed antitrust lawsuits brought against Facebook by the agency and a broad coalition of state attorneys general that were among multiplying efforts by federal and state regulators to rein in Big Tech’s market power.
This time the facts in the new suit are ‘far more robust’. US District Judge James Boasberg said that, though the “core theory” of the lawsuit — that Facebook is a monopoly engaging in anticompetitive behavior — remains unchanged, the facts alleged this time around are “far more robust and detailed than before”.
Meta said in an emailed statement it is “confident the evidence will reveal the fundamental weakness of the claims”. The company said.
“Our investments in Instagram and WhatsApp transformed them into what they are today. They have been good for competition, and good for the people and businesses that choose to use our products”.
The FTC is seeking remedies that could include a forced spinoff of Facebook’s popular Instagram and WhatsApp messaging services, or a restructuring of the company.