Facebook has asked a federal judge to dismiss the antitrust case of the American government that seeks Facebook to sell WhatsApp and Instagram. An antitrust case is a case that is used to prevent monopoly within the free market. According to the social media giant, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) was not able to provide a plausible factual basis for branding Facebook as an unlawful monopolist. Facebook also added the FTC relied on guesswork rather than real facts.
As a result, a U.S. judge James Boasberg dismissed the FTC’s complaint against Facebook stating that it was legally insufficient. It is important to note that he dismissed the complaint, not the case, which gave the FTC a chance to file a revised complaint, and the FTC did that.
The FTC amended their original complaint by adding more details and asked the judge again to force Facebook to sell WhatsApp and Instagram. The FTC claimed that Facebook has been the most dominant and largest personal social network in the US since 2012. Facebook responded to this claim by saying that they are facing enough competition from such social websites as LinkedIn, TikTok, Twitter, and YouTube. However, the FTC argued that these websites do not fall under the category of “personal social networking”.
Facebook also added that the amended complaint is not valid because of the participation of the new FTC chair, Lina Khan. Facebook said that she should have to recuse herself from this case due to her criticism of big and influential tech companies, including Facebook. According to Facebook, she joined the FTC having already made up her mind against the social media giant.
Facebook also noted that one of the purposes of this lawsuit filed by the FTC is to undo mergers that it had approved. These mergers include Instagram bought by Facebook for $1 billion in 2012 and WhatsApp bought by Facebook for $19 billion in 2014.
By responding to the FTC complaint, Facebook claims that this case does not have any factual or legal support. One of the Facebook spokesmen also added that Facebook cannot be accused of having monopoly power because this power does not exist at all.