Yesterday, social media giant Facebook gained a win in its battle against the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), when a U.S. federal court struck down an anti-trust lawsuit that would have potentially resulted in Facebook divesting Instagram and WhatsApp.
The FTC filed a lawsuit against Facebook back in December 2020, alleging that Facebook was behaving like a monopoly and systematically eliminating threats to its monopoly. According to the FTC, examples of this behaviour are the acquisition of Instagram in 2012 and WhatsApp in 2014. If Facebook was found guilty, then the company would have probably needed to divest these two companies.
However, a federal court dismissed the lawsuit on Monday, pointing out that the FTC failed to prove that Facebook had a monopoly in the U.S. personal social networking market.
In the court filing, it was stated:
Although the Court does not agree with all of Facebook’s contentions here, it ultimately concurs that the agency’s Complaint is legally insufficient and must therefore be dismissed. The FTC has failed to plead enough facts to plausibly establish a necessary element of all of its Section 2 claims — namely, that Facebook has monopoly power in the market for Personal Social Networking (PSN) Services.
In response to the dismissal of the lawsuit, a Facebook spokesperson said:
We are pleased that today’s decisions recognize the defects in the government complaints against Facebook. We compete fairly every day to earn people’s time and attention and will continue to deliver great products for the people and businesses that use our services.