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Judge Rules Facebook Monopoly Lawsuit Can Go Ahead

A federal judge has reversed an earlier decision and ruled that the US Federal Trade Commission can proceed with its antitrust lawsuit against Facebook parent company Meta.

After the FTC’s first complaint “stumbled out of the starting blocks”, according to District of Columbia Judge James Boasberg, the updated argument is ““far more robust and detailed than before.”

The FTC alleged that Meta has an unlawful monopoly in social network services, obtained by acquiring competitors such as WhatsApp and Instagram. If successful, it may force the tech giant to split its business.

“In stark contrast with its predecessor, this complaint provides reinforcing, specific allegations that all point toward the same conclusion: Facebook has maintained a dominant market share during the relevant time period,” Boasberg said.

“If you accept the market definition and the reliability of the FTC’s data, Facebook’s market share comfortably exceeds the levels that courts ordinarily find sufficient to establish monopoly power.”

Meta responded in a statement: “Today’s decision narrows the scope of the FTC’s case by rejecting claims about our platform policies.

“It also acknowledges that the agency faces a ‘tall task’ proving its case regarding two acquisitions it cleared years ago.

“We’re confident the evidence will reveal the fundamental weakness of the claims. 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.”

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