Meta has suffered a defeat in court, after the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) lawsuit has been admitted for processing.
The lawsuit was imposed at the end of 2020, before Facebook was renamed Meta as part of its bid for the so-called “metaverse”; Although Facebook’s name change was also motivated by privacy scandals. However, the company remains the same, and it is going to be difficult to put past controversies behind as a federal judge has shown today.
The FTC accuses Facebook of anti-competitive practices, by using its dominant position in the market to suppress its competitors; You allege that one of the tactics used is simply to buy competing services before they become a threat. Specifically, the purchase of Instagram and WhatsApp, which began as independent services, could have been motivated in this way.
Since then, both services operate relatively independently, but little by little they have gone adopting the Facebook platform; Among the company’s plans is to unite all the services under the same system, something that is already becoming a reality with the implementation of Facebook Messenger on Instagram and the connection of WhatsApp with Facebook for businesses that generated so much controversy last year.
Notably, the judge initially rejected the FTC’s claim for not presenting sufficient evidence, but in October 2021 he allowed it to be resubmitted, now modified in more detail. Meta instantly reacted and again asked that it be rejected, but this time the judge has not taken his part, considering that the Commission has collected “enough facts to establish plausibly that Facebook has a monopoly in the market.”
On the other hand, the judge has denied part of the lawsuit, focused on the platform’s policies, since these were modified in 2018 and the FTC’s lawsuit does not reflect this.
Unsurprisingly, Meta has denied the FTC’s allegations, and has argued that its investments in Instagram and WhatsApp have transformed them into what they are today; that has been “good for the competition, for the people and for the businesses that choose to use our products,” according to a company representative.