Don't back down from Facebook fight, lawmakers tell FTC

Bipartisan lawmakers asked the FTC to continue its antitrust case against Facebook, despite setbacks in court. Together with House representatives David Cicilline and Ken Buck (R.I.), Senator Amy Klobuchar (D.MN) and Mike Lee, (R.UT) signed a letter to Lina Khan, FTC Chair. It explained why regulatory action was necessary.The lawmakers stated that it is crucial that the Commission takes action to prevent anticompetitive conduct from digital monopolists and ensures that they are held accountable for any antitrust violations to all of the law.It is vital that the Commission takes actionThis letter follows just four days since Judge James E. Boasberg on Monday dismissed the key federal antitrust complaint against Facebook, along with a complaint from 48 state attorney generals.FTC has until July 29, 2009 to file a complaint. However, it will need to provide more detailed evidence that Facebook is indeed a monopoly in social networking. Boasberg stated that he wasn't impressed by the FTC's attempt to classify Facebook a monopoly. The initial complaint was merely a plain allegation that Facebook had a 60% market share.Some metrics might be persuasive to courts, such as how many users spend on Facebook apps or an explanation of Facebook's sector competition. Each suggestion is accompanied by examples that show how difficult it can be to prove these metrics.Boasberg noted in the dismissal that it was difficult to integrate Facebook's service within the antitrust regulations.He said that this case does not involve an intuitive or ordinary market. PSN [Personal Social Networking] is free to use. The exact boundaries of what constitutes a PSN (Personal Social Networking) service, i.e. which features of a company's mobile app or website, are not clear.Legislators have not lost sight of this point and are working to change antitrust law to better deal with modern tech giants. Buck, one signatory of the letters, tweeted Monday that the dismissal demonstrated the urgent need for antitrust reform.He wrote that Congress should provide more resources and tools to our antitrust enforcers in order to pursue Big Tech companies engaged in anticompetitive conduct.