US Takes A New Stab In Facebook Antitrust Case


WASHINGTON — The Federal Trade Commission on Thursday gave Facebook a new target, reinforcing its accusations that the company has a monopoly that illegally crushes competition. threw out the agency’s original case Two months ago.

The lawsuit presented on Thursday contains the same general arguments as the original. But the updated case is much longer and contains more facts and analysis, which the agency says better supports the government’s claims.

The agency then had to re-file the case. The presiding judge in June said He said the government had not provided sufficient evidence that Facebook had a monopoly on social networks. The judge’s decision, and a similar ruling in a lawsuit filed by more than 40 states against the company, dealt a striking blow to regulators’ attempts to rein in Big Tech.

His decision presented the first major test for Lina Khan, the head of the FTC, who at the time was only days into her term. Ms Khan represents a new wave of thinking about the industry among management officials and many legislators, arguing that the government should take much more aggressive steps to break the power of tech giants like Facebook, Google, Amazon and Apple. President Biden has appointed multiple regulators for similar purposes, and lawmakers have proposed updates to antitrust laws to target the power of tech companies.

Criticisms of the Facebook case by Judge James E. Boasberg of the District Court for the District of Columbia highlighted the difficult challenges faced by regulators. While companies dominate their markets – social media, Facebook in the example – courts often look at whether prices have risen as an indicator of monopoly. Facebook’s most popular services are free.

Judge Boasberg criticized the agency’s initial version of the case.

“No one who hears the name of the 2010 movie ‘The Social Network’ is wondering what company it is about,” he wrote. “Nevertheless, whatever that means to the public, ‘monopoly power’ is an art term under federal law with a definite economic meaning.” He instructed the FTC to back up claims that Facebook controls 60 percent of the “personal social networking” market and hinders competition.

Ms. Khan then had to make a choice about how to handle Judge Boasberg’s decision. One option was to drop the case altogether, and the other to expand on broader charges. Instead, he took more middle ground, re-submitted the case with a more detailed and more comprehensive account of the company, and what the agency says is a pattern of anticompetitive behavior since Mark Zuckerberg’s founders. at Harvard in 2004.

Facebook filed a petition for Ms. Khan to withdraw herself He said from the agency’s case his work on a House investigation into platform monopolies showed a bias against the company. Ms. Khan is not expected to withdraw herself.


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