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FTC files renewed antitrust complaint against Facebook

2021-08-19 18:33 by
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The Federal Trade Commission filed a new antitrust complaint against Facebook on Thursday, continuing its fight in federal court after a judge threw out its initial claims.

The refiled lawsuit is seen as the FTC's first major battle as it seeks to rein in the dominance of major tech companies that have come to dominate American life. It is also seen as a test of the agency's new chair, Lina Khan, who was a vocal critic of Big Tech in her work in academia and whom Facebook argued should recuse herself because of that work.

The new complaint is approximately two dozen pages longer than the original but put forwards many of the same core arguments. Specifically, the FTC alleges Facebook used the acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp in 2012 and 2014 to secure its position in the market. The agency says the amended complaint includes additional data and evidence to support its claims that Facebook is a monopolist.

"Facebook has maintained its monopoly position in significant part by pursuing Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg's strategy, expressed in 2008: 'it is better to buy than compete,'" the FTC says in the document. "True to that maxim, Facebook has systematically tracked potential rivals and acquired companies that it viewed as serious competitive threats."

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