States ask U.S. court to reinstate Facebook antitrust lawsuit
January 14, 2022
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -A group of states led by New York asked a U.S. federal appeals court on Friday to reinstate an antitrust lawsuit filed against Facebook.
“Facebook is a monopolist that has exploited its immense market power to crush competition. Through an ongoing course of conduct to ‘buy or bury’ nascent competitors, Facebook has maintained a monopoly that harms its users and the public at large,” wrote lawyers for New York and a big group of other states in asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to allow their lawsuit to go forward.
The nearly 50 states argued that U.S. District Judge James Boasberg of the District of Columbia erred in ruling that they had waited too long to file the lawsuit.
They argued that states are allowed delays that private plaintiffs are not. They also argued that if the court determined they did wait too long, states are allowed deference that others are not because of their role in protecting the public interest.
Boasberg also threw out a related Federal Trade Commission complaint against Facebook in June but allowed the agency to refile the case. It did so, and Boasberg said this week the case would be allowed to go forward.
The FTC and a big group of states filed separate lawsuits in 2020 that accused Facebook of breaking antitrust law to keep smaller competitors at bay by snapping up rivals such as Instagram and WhatsApp.
(Reporting by Diane Bartz and Elizabeth Culliford; Editing by Leslie Adler and Jonathan Oatis)