Thursday, May 19, 2022

Facebook is under criticism as U.S. lawmakers put pressure on a new antitrust complaint

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A bipartisan group of U.S. antitrust lawmakers on Friday called on the Federal Trade Commission to continue its lawsuit against Facebook, Senator Amy Klobuchar said in a statement.

In a letter to new FTC chairman Lina Hang, Klobuchar, Senator Mike Lee and representatives David Tsitsilin and Ken Buck urged the FTC to “take all possible options under the law to take enforcement action against Facebook and ensure the commission’s claims are accepted.” called for a “rib exit”. complete and fair listening. “

Klobuchar and Cicillin, as well as Democrats and Republicans Lee and Buck, hold senior positions in Congress’ antitrust panels.

The FTC is expected to file a new lawsuit against Facebook after U.S. District Court Judge James Boasberg dismissed the complaint in December, experts say.

The complaint, which required Facebook to sell Instagram and WhatsApp messaging apps to share photos, was implemented shortly after, Boasberg said, as the FTC failed to demonstrate the company’s monopoly power and cases where it was supposed to be competitive were too old.

Several veteran FTC officials said it was unthinkable that the agency would lack data to support the idea that Facebook has “more than 60 percent” of the social media market.

The logos of WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram messaging apps are displayed in front of a computer screen with the Facebook logo on the Apple logo screen.
The first FTC complaint against Facebook required the tech giant to share photos on Instagram and sell WhatsApp messaging apps,
Getty Images

“What he told them was,‘ I don’t read the newspaper and I believe Facebook has a monopoly, ’” said Andy Govil, a FKT veteran and law school lecturer at Howard University.

Facebook declined to comment on the incident. An earlier comment noted that Instagram and WhatsApp grew strongly under the control of Facebook. He told the court he had to fight hard with the FTC.

GO BIG AND GO HOME?

Under the new leadership, the FTC can file a much broader complaint and refer it to an FTC administrative court judge, who basically conducts the case at home.

William Kovacic, a former FTC chairman of the George Washington University School of Law, said the new complaint could add to the allegations, including an unfair competition method.

Lina Han sat in on the U.S. Senate committee hearing
The FTC, led by new chairman Lina Han (shown), could file a much broader complaint against Facebook and appeal to an FTC administrative court judge, experts told Acesparks.
POOL / AFP via Getty Images

“This is a topic he (Khan) has spoken and written many times,” he said.

Experts say the dismissals support bills to strengthen antitrust laws.

“If it comes down to dismissal, it’s going to have to do something,” he said. If the government wins even modestly in this case, it is proof that nothing can be done, ”said Herb Hovenkamp, ​​a Kerry Law Officer at the University of Pennsylvania.

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