Facebook Under Fire as US Lawmakers Press for New Antitrust Complaint


A bipartisan group of US lawmakers knowledgeable in antitrust urged the Federal Trade Commission Friday to press on with its lawsuit towards Facebook, in response to a press release from Senator Amy Klobuchar.

In a letter to new FTC Chair Lina Khan, Klobuchar, Senator Mike Lee and Representatives David Cicilline and Ken Buck urged the FTC to “pursue enforcement action against Facebook and to consider all available options under the law for ensuring that the commission’s claims receive a full and fair hearing.”

Klobuchar and Cicilline, each Democrats, and Lee and Buck, each Republicans, maintain the highest positions on congressional antitrust panels.

The FTC is anticipated to file a brand new criticism towards Facebook after US District Judge James Boasberg of District of Columbia dismissed one filed in December, consultants stated.

That criticism, which requested him to require Facebook to promote photograph sharing app Instagram and messaging app WhatsApp, fell brief, Boasberg stated, as a result of the FTC failed to indicate the corporate had monopoly energy and cases of alleged anticompetitive behaviour had been too previous.

Several veteran FTC officers stated it was implausible that the company didn’t have knowledge to again up its assertion that Facebook had “in excess of 60 percent” of the social media market.

“What he told them was ‘I’m not going to read the newspaper and believe that Facebook is a monopoly’,” stated Andy Gavil, an FTC veteran who teaches on the Howard University School of Law.

Facebook declined to remark for this story. In earlier remark, it famous that Instagram and WhatsApp grew mightily below Facebook stewardship. It stated it could vigorously combat the FTC in court docket.

Go huge and go residence?
The FTC, below new management, may write a significantly broader criticism and will file it earlier than an FTC administrative regulation decide, primarily taking the case in-house.

William Kovacic, a former FTC chair now at George Washington University Law School, stated {that a} new criticism may add allegations, together with probably unfair technique of competitors.

“That is a topic that she (Khan) has talked about and written about on many occasions,” he stated.

Experts additionally predicted the dismissal would construct help for payments to ramp up antitrust enforcement.

“If these dismissals tip the scales, it will be toward doing something. If the government could win even modestly on these cases, it’s an argument to do nothing,” stated Herb Hovenkamp of the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School.

© Thomson Reuters 2021


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