Facebook’s Antitrust Lawsuit Should Be Reinstated, Argue US States

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Facebook, a Meta-owned company, is in another trouble as a number of the US states have requested an appeals court on Monday to reinstate an antitrust lawsuit against the social media platform. The argument by a group of the US states, led by New York, has highlighted the ongoing harm from Facebook’s actions. The lawsuit was initially filed against Facebook in 2020, close to the time when the US Federal Trade Commission also sued the company. The FTC is still fighting the company and requesting the court to order Facebook to sell Instagram and WhatsApp.

Meta’s Facebook, who is already facing an antitrust lawsuit by the US FTC, may soon end up fighting another another legal case as a big group of the US states, led by New York, has requested a three-judge panel on the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to reinstate a lawsuit filed against the company in 2020. The states do not include Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and South Dakota.

Both the FTC and the states are seeking an order for Facebook to sell Instagram and WhatsApp. The social media company bought Instagram in 2012 for a $1 billion (nearly Rs. 8,000 crore) deal, while WhatsApp was bought for $19 billion (nearly Rs. 1,51,400 crore) in 2014.

According to a Reuters report, Facebook’s lawyer Aaron Panner argued that the company’s policies regarding third-party apps have been well-publicised. Judge James Boasberg had earlier dismissed the states’ case in June 2021.

“We believe the district court’s decision dismissing the states’ complaint is correct, and that there are no grounds for overturning that decision,” said Meta spokesperson Christopher Sgro, according to a Bloomberg report.