Meta could be forced to sell Facebook and Instagram

Meta – formerly Facebook – has lost a battle against an American antitrust lawsuit which calls for the technology giant to sell several of its platforms.

The US Federal Trade Commission alleges that Meta has a monopoly power in the market for social networking services.

The Commission claims that the company has unlawfully maintained this monopoly by acquiring competitors and potential competitors — most notably, Instagram and WhatsApp — that it believed were “well situated to eat into its monopoly” and second, by implementing and enforcing two policies that prevented interoperability between Facebook and other apps that it viewed as nascent threats.

When the lawsuit was first put forward last June, the court decided that the Commission had failed to plausibly prove this.

However, the FTC has since filed an amended complaint which the court said had addressed past shortcomings.

“Ultimately, whether the FTC will be able to prove its case and prevail at summary judgment and trial is anyone’s guess,” wrote Judge James Boasberg. “The Court declines to engage in such speculation and simply concludes that at this motion-to-dismiss stage, where the FTC’s allegations are treated as true, the agency has stated a plausible claim for relief under Section 2 of the Sherman Act.

“The Court, consequently, will deny Facebook’s Motion.”

The Judge said that Meta has moved to dismiss the allegation once again, describing the latest action as “akin to rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic”.

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