Written by Nick Heer.

Facebook Loses Second Attempt to Dismiss FTC Antitrust Case

Hannah Murphy and Kiran Stacey, Financial Times:

A US judge has denied Facebook’s attempt to dismiss for a second time the antitrust lawsuit brought by the US Federal Trade Commission seeking to force the social media company to unwind its acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp.

“Second time lucky?” began the opinion on Tuesday from Judge James Boasberg in Washington, who concluded that the lawsuit, which accuses Facebook of conducting a “course of anti-competitive conduct”, could proceed.

The rejection of Facebook’s motion is a victory for the FTC after its original lawsuit was dismissed by Boasberg last year.

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However, the judge said he would not let the FTC pursue allegations that the company changed its platform policies to cut off services to rivals, because the conduct was too far in the past.

The first version of this suit — the one that was dismissed — was filed in December 2020 under the previous FTC administration. There are many remaining questions about the amended complaint, created under Lina Khan’s leadership, but at least the FTC now has the opportunity to fully vet its concerns.