A judge rejected on Monday the two complaints filed against Facebook for alleged anti-competitive practices, which gives reason to the company in the demands of the Government and a coalition formed by several states.
In his brief, Judge James Boasberg found that the government’s lawsuit did not have a strong enough case to accuse the social network company of abusing its market power, which is contrary to the law.
The plaintiff now has 30 days to amend the complaint and resubmit it to the judge if it deems it appropriate.
Last December, both the Executive then led by Donald Trump, through the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and a coalition formed by 46 states, both Democrats and Republicans, formally accused Facebook of violating antitrust laws.
A few months later, in March, the company led by Mark Zuckerberg asked the Washington court judge to dismiss the claims, asserting that they “completely ignored the reality of the dynamic and highly competitive technology industry in which Facebook operates.”
At the heart of the allegations is the company’s acquisition of hitherto rivals Instagram and WhatsApp in 2012 and 2014 respectively, and the lawsuits called for Facebook to be forced to divest them, even though both deals were cleared by regulators at the time.
In its March briefs, the Menlo Park (California) firm precisely reproached the plaintiffs for wanting to force it to undo two acquisitions that had been previously approved, something for which, according to Facebook, there is no precedent.
In the specific case of the complaint filed by the coalition of states, Judge Boasberg justified his decision precisely because the facts complained of (the acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp) occurred 9 and 7 years ago respectively, but the states had not reported it until now.
Apart from Facebook, another internet giant, Google, is also litigating in the US courts three different lawsuits for alleged monopolistic practices. One of them has been filed by the government and the other two by different coalitions of states.