FTC's antitrust case against Facebook falters but doesn't quite fall in federal court ' TechCrunch

A federal judge ruled today that Facebook's antitrust lawsuit against it and several other states was unable to succeed. He said that plaintiffs didn't provide sufficient evidence that Facebook has monopoly over social media. However, the court was more open to reconsidering the acquisitions Instagram and WhatsApp and left the case open for regulators to have another go at it.This court's decision came in response to a Facebook motion for dismissal. Judge James Boesberg from the D.C. Circuit explained that the evidence of monopoly violations and antitrust violations was not sufficient to proceed with the suit. However, this case does not involve an intuitive or ordinary market.Plaintiffs were required to support their claim that Facebook controlled 60 percent of the market using clear and concise data. Boesberg wrote that it failed to do this. According to Facebook's legal argument, he dismissed the complaints.In a statement, the company stated that it was pleased with today's recognition of the deficiencies in government complaints.Boesberg, on the other hand, is aware that the absence of evidence in the records does not necessarily mean that there is no evidence. He gave the FTC and the states 30 days to amend the filings, after which the complaints would be reevaluated.He also felt that Facebook's logic in dismissing suits allegations about its controversial acquisitions, Instagram and WhatsApp, was flawed.Facebook claimed that, even if these acquisitions were problematic, the FTC was not authorized to prosecute long-standing conduct. Instead, it is only authorized to pursue more recent or imminent issues. Boesberg wasn't convinced. He found precedent that basically states that such mergers can be legally considered current for as long as they are existing and that the government can review them at any time it feels it has cause. Boesberg was not convinced by the state lawsuits. He dismissed them outright because they were filed too late.Lina Khan, the FTC's new Chair, has a very hawkish regulatory stance regarding antitrust generally and past acquisitions in particular. She stated that approvals of mergers were made without full information, and this was a missed opportunity for understanding and building rules.A representative of the FTC stated that the FTC was reviewing the opinion closely and assessing the best options forward.After Thursday's agency meeting, Well will likely have more information. Khan may actually have a wonderful opportunity to put her ideas into action. The judge literally invites them both to rewrite their complaint with more details. It remains to be seen if Khan and the FTC have sufficient material to make a compelling case. But one thing is certain: Facebook should keep the champagne in the fridge at least for the moment. Khan might not be content with a simple slap on his wrist.