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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

States are appealing a judge’s decision to dismiss Facebook’s antitrust case.

WASHINGTON. Nearly four dozen states on Friday asked a federal appeals court to review an antitrust lawsuit against Facebook that the judge dismissed last year.

In June, Judge James E. Boasberg of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia said states waited too long to file a lawsuit after some of the deals in question went through.

The plaintiffs, led by New York Attorney General Letitia James and including the District of Columbia and Guam, argued in their appeal that states have more leeway than private plaintiffs when filing lawsuits. They also argued that it is in the public interest for attorneys general to pursue antitrust lawsuits against Meta, Facebook’s parent company.

The states’ main allegation is that Facebook acquired competitors — notably Instagram in 2012 and WhatsApp in 2014 — in a predatory manner to stifle competition. They also allege that Facebook hurt competitors like Vine by blocking them from accessing data and tools on its platform. This has hurt consumers, who have been deprived of more competition and alternative social media services, states say.

“Time and time again, the social media giant has used its market dominance to drive small companies out of business and reduce competition for millions of users,” Ms James said. “We are filing this appeal with the support of nearly every state in the country because we will always struggle with efforts to crack down on competition, curtail innovation and shrink privacy protections, even as we face a giant like Facebook.”

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Chris Sgro, spokesman for Meta, said, “We believe the district court’s decision to dismiss the state’s complaint was correct and there is no reason to overturn that decision.”

Legal pressure on Meta has increased in recent days. The states’ appeal comes days after Mr. Boasberg allowed a revised version of a similar FTC antitrust lawsuit to be heard. The FTC alleged that the company used a “buy or bury” strategy in acquiring Instagram and WhatsApp to create a social media monopoly.

Mr. Boasberg was initially skeptical of both claims, but for different reasons. He said federal regulators have not provided sufficient evidence to support some of the main claims, such as Facebook’s monopoly. He said this week that those regulators have removed that bar in a revised lawsuit.

World Nation News Deskhttps://www.worldnationnews.com
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