Federal Judge Tosses Antitrust Lawsuit Brought By the FTC Against Facebook and Instagram

Photo by JOEL SAGET/ Staff ( Getty images )On Monday, a federal judge dismissed an antitrust complaint filed by the Federal Trade Commission against Facebook. The agency claimed that the evidence had not sufficiently supported the claim that Facebook held monopoly over other social media platforms.AdvertisementThe FTC had initially accused Facebook of having more than 60% of the social media market. This was in response to its use of anticompetitive tactics to ensure it maintains its supremacy in social networking. The court ruled that the states had not waited long enough to challenge Facebook's acquisitions of the companies. They were both acquired in 2012 and 2014.Judge James E. Boasberg dismissed the complaints Monday and wrote that the FTC was almost glib in their arguments... almost like the agency expects that the Court will simply accept the conventional wisdom that Facebook has a monopolist. Judge James E. Boasberg dismissed the complaints on Monday, stating that the FTC had been almost glib in its arguments... almost as if it expects the Court to simply accept the conventional wisdom that Facebook is monopolist.Boasberg stated that the FTC failed to present enough facts to support all its Section 2 claims, namely that Facebook holds monopoly in the market for Personal Social Networking Services (PSN). Except for the plain allegation that Facebook still holds a dominant market share (in excess 60%), the complaint does not contain any information on this point.The news of Facebook's dismissal is likely to be a bright spot. Facebook is currently in the crosshairs of a bipartisan antitrust bill package that was recently introduced in the House of Representatives. This legislation is designed to punish Big Tech and to end the market stranglehold enjoyed by companies such as Apple, Amazon, Google, and Facebook.The news of Monday's dismissal appeared to be more motivating than it was to quell growing anti-monopoly sentiments in Washington.The FTCs decision against Facebook today shows that antitrust reforms are urgently needed. Rep. Ken Buck (R.CO), ranking member of the House Judiciary Committees antitrust committee, wrote in a Monday tweet. Our antitrust enforcers need additional resources and tools to pursue Big Tech companies that engage in anticompetitive conduct.