Facebook asks US federal court to dismiss antitrust cases | Government news

In lawsuits filed in December, the U.S. and state Federal Trade Commission asked the court to force Facebook to sell two valuable assets, its WhatsApp messaging app and Instagram photo-sharing app.

Facebook on Wednesday asked a U.S. federal court to dismiss major antitrust cases filed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and nearly all U.S. states, saying they had failed to demonstrate that the company had a monopoly or had done anything. harm consumers.

“By a margin of one vote, in the tense environment of incessant criticism of Facebook for matters totally unrelated to antitrust concerns, the agency has decided to file a complaint against Facebook,” Facebook said in its response to the complaint. the FTC.

“None of the harms generally alleged in antitrust actions are alleged here,” the statement said.

In lawsuits filed in December, the FTC and states asked the court to force the social media giant to sell two valuable assets, its WhatsApp messaging app and Instagram photo-sharing app. U.S. District Judge James Boasberg of the District of Columbia will hear the cases.

The FTC and states have accused Facebook of breaking antitrust law to keep small competitors at bay and nab social media rivals, like Instagram for $ 1 billion in 2012 and WhatsApp in 2014 for $ 19 billion.

In total, the federal and state governments filed five lawsuits against Alphabet’s Facebook and Google last year over bipartisan outrage over the use and diversion of social media influence both in in the economy and in the political sphere.

In its response to the FTC lawsuit, Facebook argued that the government had failed to demonstrate that Facebook had a monopoly in a clearly defined market or that it had harmed consumers.

The company also rejects emails that were cited in the FTC lawsuit and were authored by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other executives expressing concern over the competitive threat posed by Instagram and WhatsApp.

“In the absence of facts to establish either illegal conduct or harm to consumers, the FTC is trying to bolster its allegations with a purse of internal emails and posts from selectively cited Facebook executives,” which are proposed to show that Facebook was concerned about Instagram’s competitive threats. and WhatsApp – but also many, many other companies, ”Facebook said in its response.

Separately, in the lawsuit brought by dozens of states and territories, Facebook argued that the state’s case should be dismissed because the states had failed to demonstrate that they had been harmed by Facebook and that they had waited more than four years.

States and the FTC have until April 7 to respond.

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