Judge rejects Facebook’s request to dismiss a lawsuit to sell WhatsApp and Instagram

WASHINGTON – A U.S. judge declined to dismiss the Federal Trade Commission’s antitrust lawsuit against Facebook, saying the FTC had a plausible case that should be allowed to continue.

Facebook, which is now owned by Meta Platforms, had asked Judge James Boasberg in federal court in Washington, DC, to dismiss the lawsuit in which the government asked the court to require the company to sell Instagram and WhatsApp.

The FTC’s high-profile legal fight with Facebook represents one of the biggest challenges the government has presented against a tech company in decades, and it is being watched closely as Washington aims to address the broad market power of big tech. .

Ultimately, whether the FTC will be able to prove its case and prevail in summary judgment and trial is anyone’s guess. The Court refuses to engage in such speculation and simply concludes that at this stage of the motion to dismiss, where the allegations of the FTC are treated as true, the agency has submitted a plausible mitigation claim, “Boasberg wrote.

The FTC had originally sued Facebook during the administration of former President Donald Trump, and the court had rejected it.

The agency filed an amended lawsuit in August, adding more details about the allegation that the social media company crushed or bought rivals and once again asked a judge to force the company to sell the photo-sharing app Instagram and WhatsApp messaging.

Judge Boasberg also agreed with the FTC that President Lina Khan, who voted to bring the amended lawsuit against Facebook, should not be forced to recuse herself, saying her role was less of a judge and more of a prosecutor.


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