A U.S. judge has rejected a request by Facebook to dismiss the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) antitrust lawsuit against the social media giant.
Facebook, now renamed Meta Platforms, had asked Judge James Boasberg of Washington D.C. federal court to dismiss the government’s lawsuit, which had asked Facebook to sell Instagram and WhatsApp.
“Ultimately, whether the FTC will be able to prove its case and prevail at summary judgment and trial is anyone’s guess. 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,” Boasberg wrote.
The FTC’s first lawsuit against Facebook was filed during the Trump administration and then dismissed by the court. Last year, the FTC filed a new and more detailed complaint accusing the social media giant of crushing rivals by acquiring them.
Seemingly in Facebook’s favor, Boasberg also said that the FTC could not reject allegations that Facebook refused to allow interoperability with competing apps to maintain its dominance because the guidelines had been abandoned in 2018 and the company’s recent enforcement of the rule was even older.