Today, D.C. District Court Judge James Boasberg rejected Facebook’s motion to dismiss the Federal Trade Commission’s case against Facebook and parent company Meta Platforms. The judge had previously dismissed an earlier complaint and allowed the FTC to amend and refile. Judge Boasberg found the amended complaint’s new details sufficient to establish a case against Facebook for antitrust violations. Finally, Judge Boasberg found no merit in Facebook’s arguments that FTC Chairwoman Lina Khan was biased and, thus, must recuse herself from the case.
The following can be attributed to Charlotte Slaiman, Competition Policy Director at Public Knowledge:
“This is great news for the fight to hold Big Tech accountable and to offer users a real alternative to Facebook. The judge recognized clear evidence the FTC put forward showing what users around the world experience every day: Facebook dominates the personal social networking market, and the company bought up two of the only firms that could have challenged it – WhatsApp and Instagram.
“Judge Boasberg also rejected Facebook’s weak recusal arguments centered on Chairwoman Khan, reaffirming that bold thinkers like Khan are exactly the kinds of leaders our enforcement agencies need right now. I’m discouraged by the judge’s continued skepticism of the FTC’s interoperability claims, which underlines the need for federal legislation in this area in the vein of the ACCESS Act.
“Thanks to the FTC’s persistence on this important issue, even the previously skeptical Judge Boasberg now agrees these concerns deserve further scrutiny. It’s even more clear today that Congress must also redouble its efforts to pass meaningful technology reform legislation, especially new competition laws focused on Big Tech platforms like Facebook that go further than existing antitrust law to promote competition.”
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