Facebook again asks judge to dismiss US lawsuit to force Instagram and WhatsApp sale
WASHINGTON, Oct.4 (Reuters) – Facebook Inc (FB.O) on Monday asked a judge to dismiss the U.S. government’s revised antitrust case that seeks to force the social media giant to sell Instagram and WhatsApp after rejecting a version earlier in June. .
Facebook said in a court filing that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) had failed to provide a “plausible factual basis to qualify Facebook as an illegal monopolist.” The company added that it appeared the FTC “had no basis for its bare claim that Facebook has or had a monopoly.”
The FTC’s amended complaint filed in August adds more details about its charge that the social media company crushed or bought rivals and has again applied to Judge James Boasberg of the District Court for the District of Columbia.
Boasberg ruled in June that the FTC’s initial complaint filed in December did not prove that Facebook had monopoly power in the social media market. Read more
The FTC has long argued in its revised complaint that Facebook dominates the U.S. personal social media market with more than 65% monthly active users since 2012.
The Facebook filing said the FTC’s complaint was “at odds with the business reality of intense competition with burgeoning rivals like TikTok and dozens of other attractive options for consumers.”
The FTC voted 3-2 depending on the parties in August to file the amended lawsuit and rejected Facebook’s request that the agency’s president, Lina Khan, be challenged.
Facebook said on Monday that the court should dismiss the complaint because “Khan’s involvement in the decision to file the (amended complaint) violates due process and federal ethics rules.” He called the revised complaint “invalid” because Khan did not recuse himself.
An FTC spokesperson did not immediately comment.
The agency also reiterated in August its demand that a court order Facebook to sell Instagram, which it bought in 2012 for $ 1 billion, and WhatsApp, which it bought in 2014 for $ 19 billion.
“The fictitious FTC market ignores competitive reality: Facebook competes vigorously with TikTok, iMessage, Twitter, Snapchat, LinkedIn, YouTube and countless others to help people share, connect, communicate or just be entertained,” he said. a Facebook spokesperson said. “The FTC cannot credibly claim that Facebook has monopoly power because there is no such power.”
Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Lisa Shumaker
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