The Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) antitrust lawsuit charging Meta's Facebook
The FTC's initial complaint was dismissed by the U.S. District Court of Washington D.C., with the court claiming that the commission hadn't provided ample evidence to back up its claims. The court, however, left the door open to the FTC, stating that the "defect" in its argument could be "overcome by re-pleading." The FTC's amended complaint was enough to satisfy the District Court's concerns.
"The Commission continues to allege that Facebook has long had a monopoly in the market for PSN services and that it has unlawfully maintained that monopoly via two types of actions," U.S. District Court Judge James E. Boasberg wrote in his opinion. "First, by acquiring competitors and potential competitors - most notably, Instagram and WhatsApp - that it believed were well situated to eat into its monopoly; and second, by implementing and enforcing policies that prevented interoperability between Facebook and other apps that it viewed as nascent threats."
Judge Boasberg did, however, disarm one of the FTC's arguments in issuing his opinion. The FTC's claim that Facebook was preventing interoperability was shelved, with Facebook having discarded the relevant policy years prior.
The burden of proving anti-competitive and monopolistic behavior has always been a stiff bar to meet for the FTC. However, the commission is slowly adapting to modern affairs, focusing on the market distortions caused by major tech firms leveraging their power rather than pricing disparities.
In addition, sentiments have turned sharply against major tech firms, with many Americans voicing disdain and distrust for companies like Google