The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and 45 other states sued Facebook for alleged anti-competitive behavior in December. The lawsuit requested the ending of the corporate, which also owns Instagram and WhatsApp.
TheFinancialDistrict tweeted, “Facebook has asked a court to dismiss state and federal antitrust lawsuits that accuse it of abusing its market power in social networking to crush smaller.”
On Wednesday, Facebook described the complaint as “nonsensical” and asked the judge to throw the case out. In a statement, Facebook said the case “ignores the truth of the dynamic, intensely competitive high-tech industry during which Facebook operates”.
The FTC has until 7 April to respond. Facebook purchased Instagram for $1bn (£718m) in 2012 and WhatsApp for $19bn (£13.6bn) in 2014 – which the FTC claims was done to “eliminate threats to its monopoly”.
It was revealed in 2019 that Facebook owns four of the foremost downloaded apps of the decade: Facebook, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram. However, the FTC’s actions surprised many by requesting the break-up of the social network, which, if it were to happen, would be a landmark decision against Big Tech.
The FTC also wants Facebook to notify officials of any acquisition of more than $10m (£7.2m). Facebook’s motion says the lawsuit fails to copy the claims that the social media giant may be a monopoly, anti-competitive, or in violation of the law.
New York Attorney General Letitia James responded, saying that Facebook was “wrong on the law and wrong on our complaint”. “We are confident in our case, which is why almost every state in this nation has joined our bipartisan lawsuit to end Facebook’s illegal conduct.”
Facebook isn’t the sole tech company facing anti-trust lawsuits within the US. Google was hit with a lawsuit in October alleging the corporate features a monopoly over search results and online advertising.
In July, the bosses of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google appeared before a Judiciary Committee to defend their companies against these claims. Democrat Congressman David Cicilline, the committee chairman, said, “Some [Big Tech firms] got to be choppy and everyone got to be properly regulated.
Regulators are looking to limit the facility of massive Tech to make more competitive markets for smaller companies. And it’s not just US regulators who are concerned.
The European Commission is investigating whether Apple and Facebook have violated EU competition rules.