Antitrust lawsuits filed by the US government against Facebook have been dismissed by US District Federal Judge.
On Monday, United States District Judge James Boasberg decided that the claims were "legally deficient" and that there was insufficient evidence to prove that Facebook constituted a monopoly. The complaint was dismissed, but not the case, so the FTC could file another lawsuit.
“These charges, which don't even include an estimated real figure or range for Facebook's market share at any point during the last ten years,” he said, “fall short of plausibly showing that Facebook holds market power,” he added.
In December 2020, the US government and 48 states and districts sued Facebook, accusing it of abusing its market position in social networking to squash smaller competitors and seeking remedies that might include a forced spinoff of Facebook's Instagram and WhatsApp messaging services.
According to the FTC, Facebook used a "systematic plan" to remove competition, including purchasing smaller up-and-coming competitors like Instagram in 2012 and WhatsApp in 2014. Facebook "used its dominant power to crush smaller rivals and suffocate competition, all at the expense of average consumers," according to New York Attorney General Letitia James, who filed the lawsuit.
The state attorneys general's separate complaint was also dismissed by Judge Boasberg.