States Appeal Decision to Throw Out Their Facebook Antitrust Case

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Technology|States entreaty a judge’s determination to propulsion retired their Facebook antitrust case.

Cecilia Kang

  • Jan. 14, 2022, 6:54 p.m. ET

WASHINGTON — Nearly 4 twelve states connected Friday asked a national appeals tribunal to reconsider an antitrust suit against Facebook that a justice threw retired past year.

In June, Judge James E. Boasberg of the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia said the states had waited excessively agelong aft immoderate of the deals nether scrutiny were made to record their suit.

The plaintiffs, which are led by Attorney General Leticia James of New York and see the District of Columbia and Guam, argued successful their entreaty that states person much latitude than backstage plaintiffs for erstwhile they record lawsuits. They besides argued that it was successful the public’s involvement for the attorneys wide to prosecute the antitrust complaints against Meta, the genitor institution of Facebook.

The states’ cardinal assertion is that Facebook acquired competitors — peculiarly Instagram successful 2012 and WhatsApp successful 2014 — successful a predatory manner, successful bid to crush competition. They besides reason that Facebook harmed rivals similar Vine by blocking them from accessing information and tools connected its platform. That harmed consumers, who were deprived of much contention and alternate services successful societal networking, the states claim.

“Time and again, the societal media elephantine has utilized its marketplace dominance to unit tiny companies retired of concern and trim contention for millions of users,” Ms. James said. “We’re filing this entreaty with the enactment of astir each authorities successful the federation due to the fact that we volition ever combat efforts to stifle competition, trim innovation and chopped privateness protections, adjacent erstwhile we look a goliath similar Facebook.”

Chris Sgro, a spokesperson for Meta, said: “We judge the territory court’s determination dismissing the states’ ailment was correct, and that determination are nary grounds for overturning that decision.”

Legal unit has intensified against Meta successful caller days. The states’ entreaty comes days aft a Mr. Boasberg allowed a revised mentation of a akin antitrust lawsuit by the Federal Trade Commission to proceed. The F.T.C. argued that the institution utilized a “buy-or-bury” strategy successful its acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp to make a monopoly successful societal networking.

Mr. Boasberg was initially skeptical of some lawsuits, but for antithetic reasons. He said the national regulators had not fixed capable grounds to enactment immoderate of its basal assertions, specified arsenic that Facebook had a monopoly. This week helium said those regulators had cleared that barroom successful a revised suit.

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