In a stunning setback to regulators’ efforts to break up Facebook, a federal judge on Monday threw out antitrust lawsuits brought against the company by the Federal Trade Commission and more than 40 states.
The judge eviscerated one of the federal government’s core arguments, that Facebook holds a monopoly over social networking, saying prosecutors had failed to provide enough facts to back up that claim. And he said the states had waited too long to bring their case, which centers on deals made in 2012 and 2014.
The judge said the F.T.C. could try again within 30 days with more detail, but he suggested that the agency faced steep challenges.
The rulings were a major blow to attempts to rein in Big Tech. In Congress, legislators pointed to the decisions as proof that century-old antitrust laws needed updating for the internet sector.
Judge dismisses gov’t antitrust lawsuits against Facebook
A federal judge on Monday dismissed antitrust lawsuits brought against Facebook by the Federal Trade Commission and a coalition of state attorneys general, dealing a significant blow to attempts by regulators to rein in tech giants.
U.S. District Judge James Boasberg ruled Monday that the lawsuits were “legally insufficient” and didn’t provide enough evidence to prove that Facebook was a monopoly. The ruling dismisses the complaint but not the case, meaning the FTC could refile another complaint.
Court says FTC hasn’t provided evidence Facebook is a monopoly, dismisses lawsuit
A Washington federal judge on Monday handed Facebook a major victory in its battle against government regulators, dismissing two antitrust lawsuits against the social media giant and questioning assertions that Facebook is a monopoly.
In dismissing one of the lawsuits, U.S. District Judge James E. Boasberg said the Federal Trade Commission had failed to offer enough facts in its complaint to prove its assertion that Facebook controlled 60 percent of the social media market. He gave the agency 30 days to file an amended complaint with more details to bolster its case.