Facebook goes to court against US govt’s antitrust case

Facebook has moved to court over two anti-trust cases brought on by the US government and 48 states against the platform and its anti-competitive behaviour.

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and a group of state attorneys general filed separate lawsuits against Facebook in December last year, accusing the social network of engaging in anti-competitive behaviour.

The FTC said that that Facebook has engaged in a systematic strategy –including its 2012 acquisition of up-and-coming rival Instagram, its 2014 acquisition of the mobile messaging app WhatsApp, and the imposition of anticompetitive conditions on software developers — to eliminate threats to its monopoly.

“This course of conduct harms competition, leaves consumers with few choices for personal social networking, and deprives advertisers of the benefits of competition,” the FTC had said.

The 48 US states then filed a parallel lawsuit against Facebook, accusing the social media giant of anti-competitive conduct by abusing its market power to create a monopoly and crushing smaller competitors.

In two motions filed on Wednesday, “Facebook called on the courts to dismiss a pair of sweeping competition cases brought on by the federal government and a coalition of states,” reports The Verge.

New York Attorney General Letitia James said that “Facebook is 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. We will continue to stand up for the millions of consumers and many small businesses that have been harmed by Facebook’s unlawful behaviour,” James was quoted as saying.