Facebook is once again asking a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit by the Federal Trade Commission against competition against a social network. In a new submission, the company claimed that the government “still has no factual basis for the allegation of monopoly power.”
The FTC originally filed a lawsuit against the company in December last year. The judge dismissed the appeal in June, saying the government’s case was “legally insufficient,” but gave the FTC the opportunity to file a new request. The FTC filed a new appeal in August. The amended appeal relied on the same arguments, but was more detailed than the first complaint. In it, the government claimed that Facebook had used its WhatsApp and Instagram acquisitions to nullify competitors it considered an “existential threat”.
“The complaint alleges that after several failed attempts to develop innovative mobile features for its network, Facebook instead resorted to an illegal“ buy or bury ”scheme to maintain its dominance,” the FTC wrote in a statement at the time. “In the absence of serious competition, Facebook has managed to perfect a surveillance-based advertising model and impose an increasing burden on its users.”
The judge has until November 17 to respond. Even if Facebook manages to dismiss the FTC’s new lawsuit, the company still faces a number of other investigations into its policies and practices. European regulators have also opened an antitrust investigation on the social network, and a British competition supervisor is also reportedly investigating the company. In the United States, meanwhile, Facebook continues to suffer an attack by a whistleblower who submitted thousands of documents to Congress and Parliament by the Securities and Exchange Commission, which he says proves the company “chooses profit instead of security.” The whistleblower, former product manager Frances Haugen, is scheduled to testify at a Senate Commerce Committee hearing Tuesday morning.
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