A U.S. District Court dismissed antitrust claims filed against MySpace. In January, LiveUniverse, filed charges against MySpace, claiming that it violated the Sherman Act by monopolizing and attempting to monopolize the market for Internet-based social networking sites, and the market for advertising on such sites. LiveUniverse claimed that MySpace prevented users from viewing LiveUniverse videos and that it deleted links that MySpace users had posted. The court dismissed the claims on the grounds that they were not sufficiently stated and that LiveUniverse did not provide evidence of any actual damages–which it would have had to do to win in court.
A lawyer from the firm representing MySpace said that users were linking to LiveUniverse, and that the company was trying to “piggyback off of MySpace's success.”. LiveUniverse categorized the deactivation of links to its site as censorship, while MySpace asserted that they are not under any orders to pave the way for their competitors.
There are three sides to every story, and this is no exception. It seems like MySpace shouldn't have to provide free advertising for competitors, yet it also seems like users should be able to link to sites of their choosing. Though this case was clearly thrown out of court on procedural and substantive grounds, the idea of whether a monopoly on social networking sites is possible is intriguing, and the issues in this case may very well come up again.