District Court for the District of Columbia dismisses FTC antitrust complaint against Facebook. Judge James E. Boasberg called the FTC’s antitrust complaint “legally insufficient” Facebook had filed to have the suits dismissed in March.
A similar case brought by the attorneys general of 46 states was dismissed because too much time had elapsed since the events in question. The FTC is now likely to return with a new lawsuit that focuses more directly on Facebook’s acquisition history, the judge told the FTC that it was on firmer ground scrutinizing Facebook’s acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp than it was in pursuing Facebook’s refusal to allow for interoperability, which would allow users to take their data to other platforms.
The FTC, now headed by Biden-appointee Lina Khan, is expected to bring the case back to court in the next round of hearings. The case will likely come back to the FTC with an antitrust complaint that will focus on the acquisition of Instagram or WhatsApp users’ acquisition history rather than Facebook’s decision to let them use their own data to share data from other platforms, the ruling said.