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Judge Rules That The FTC Can Move Forward With Its Bid To Make Meta Sell Instagram & WhatsApp

A federal court has dismissed Facebook’s attempt to stop the FTC from filing an antitrust complaint against the firm. On Tuesday, Judge James Boasberg ruled that the Federal Trade Commission can move forward with its attempt to compel Facebook, now Meta, to sell its subsidiaries WhatsApp and Instagram. According to Reuters, Meta requested that the lawsuit be dismissed in December, but Boasberg denied the request on Tuesday.

Courtesy: Yahoo News

A federal court has dismissed Facebook’s attempt to stop the FTC from filing an antitrust complaint against the firm.

On Tuesday, Judge James Boasberg ruled that the Federal Trade Commission can move forward with its attempt to compel Facebook, now Meta, to sell its subsidiaries WhatsApp and Instagram. According to Reuters, Meta requested that the lawsuit be dismissed in December, but Boasberg denied the request on Tuesday. In August, the FTC re-filed its case, and Boasberg stated on Tuesday that it had provided substantially more evidence. According to the New York Times, Boasberg stated that the FTC’s facts were “much more substantial and specific than before, particularly in regard to the outlines of defendant’s asserted monopoly.” The Federal Trade Commission claimed in an August press release that Facebook went on a “anticompetitive shopping spree,” illegally acquiring Instagram and WhatsApp to “protect its monopoly.”

“Ultimately, it’s anyone’s guess whether the FTC will be able to establish its case and prevail at summary judgement and trial,” Boasberg wrote in his decision. “At this motion-to-dismiss stage, when the FTC’s accusations are considered as true, the court declines to engage in such speculation and merely concludes that the agency has established a credible cause for relief.”

In a statement to Insider Meta, the judge denied one specific accusation that Facebook was blocking rivals such as Vine from accessing data and functionality on its network. A Meta spokeswoman told Insider, “Today’s ruling narrows the scope of the FTC’s action by dismissing accusations about our platform policies.”

“We’re convinced that the evidence will uncover the claims’ basic flaws. Instagram and WhatsApp were changed into what they are today as a result of our investments. They’ve been beneficial to both the competition and the people and businesses who choose to utilize our products “Added the spokeswoman.

In October, Facebook rebranded as Meta, and in recent months, it has faced a slew of political and legal problems. A group of senators from the United States wrote to Zuckerberg in December to express their support for Meta’s role in preserving democracy, including approaching elections, from misinformation.

During the 2020 presidential election, the senators accused Facebook of playing a key role in the dissemination of “divisive, bigoted, and violent online conduct.” “Nearly a quarter of Facebook users reported seeing hate speech ahead of the election, and more than half reported seeing content that made them hesitant to discuss political matters in public,” according to the letter.

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