FTC Files Updated Antitrust Complaint Against Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg uncomfortably wears a tux
Rich Fury /Getty

The Federal Trade Commission has reportedly filed another antitrust complaint against Facebook, alleging that the social media giant is an illegal monopoly. A federal judged dismissed the agency’s previous complaint against Mark Zuckerberg and the Masters of the Universe.

CNBC reports that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has filed an updated antitrust complaint against Facebook. The new complaint alleges that Facebook actively purchases potential competitors and prevents others from accessing their platform, wielding monopoly power over internet rivals.

Mark Zuckerberg throwing spears

Mark Zuckerberg throwing spears

The new complaint is being made in federal court after a judge threw out the FTC’s initial claims. Facebook petitioned FTC Chair Lina Khan to recuse herself from the vote on the complaint due to her previous criticism of the industry, but she declined to do so.

The FTC said in a press release that its Office of General Counsel “carefully reviewed Facebook’s petition to recuse Chair Lina M. Khan. As the case will be prosecuted before a federal judge, the appropriate constitutional due process protections will be provided to the company. The Office of the Secretary has dismissed the petition.”

FTC Chair Lina Khan

FTC Chair Lina Khan

The FTC voted 3-2 in favor of filing the complaint. Facebook has claimed that the FTC’s complaint is “meritless” and that it would “continue vigorously defending our company.” In a statement, Facebook said: “The FTC’s claims are an effort to rewrite antitrust laws and upend settled expectations of merger review, declaring to the business community that no sale is ever final,” which refers to the FTC’s previous attempts to unwind Facebook’s acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp.

U.S. District Judge James Boasberg has given the FTC a second chance to make its case against Facebook after dismissing its first complaint in June. Boasberg stated that the FTC’s first complaint failed to define a market that Facebook monopolized. He further claimed that the FTC lacked authority to bring charges against Facebook for its implementation of an old policy preventing rivals from accessing its platform seven years ago.

The FTC’s new complaint is longer than the original, coming in at 80 pages compared to the 53 pages of the previous complaint. The new complaint still alleges that Facebook monopolizes a market known as personal social networking services.

Read more at CNBC here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address lucasnolan@protonmail.com


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