State AGs are appealing the rejection of their antitrust case against Facebook

The Attorney General of New York, Letitia James, speaks during a “Defend Democracy” meeting that takes place on the anniversary of the January 6, 2021 attack on the US capital in Brooklyn, New York, USA, on January 6, 2022.

Brendan McDermid | Reuters

A coalition of state attorneys from nearly 50 states and territories appealed a judge’s rejection of his antitrust case against Facebook in a new application on Friday.

The states, led by New York AG Letitia James, claimed that the judge erroneously dismissed their case, claiming that Facebook, now known as Meta, illegally maintained monopoly power and made illegal acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp to exclude competition.

In June, U.S. District Court Judge James Boasberg wrote that the long period in which states waited to challenge the acquisitions was unprecedented at the state level, saying their claims about Facebook’s attempts to gather power through its data policies were not illegal under antitrust. legislation.

The states argue in their appeal that the court’s ruling of an unreasonable delay in filing its case “does not apply to sovereign states seeking to protect the public interest, as the states here.” They also wrote that the judge erred in ruling that Facebook’s data policies could not violate the antitrust law.

In addition, the states claimed that the district judge erroneously assumed that Facebook stopped the alleged illegal behavior on its platform by 2018 and that bans should not be available in that case. But states argued that illegal behavior continued and that relief remains available even after the behavior stops.

While dismissing the states ‘case, Boasberg dismissed a similar complaint from the Federal Trade Commission, filed on the same day as the states’ case, but he gave the agency another chance to present its argument. Earlier this week, he gave the FTC the opportunity to proceed with its case after it filed a reinforced version of its complaint that addressed most of his concerns.

Meta did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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SEE: How US antitrust law works and what it means for Big Tech


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