Facebook files motions to dismiss state and FTC antitrust lawsuits

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Facebook files motions to dismiss state and FTC antitrust lawsuits
<a href="https://pixabay.com/users/LoboStudioHamburg/">LoboStudioHamburg</a> / Pixabay

Facebook argues that the antitrust lawsuits filed by state and local governments should be dismissed. The social networking giant filed motions to dismiss on Wednesday, saying that the cases “do not credibly claim” that it harmed competition or consumers by its conduct.

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Facebook says FTC, state antitrust lawsuits not credible

The Federal Trade Commission and 48 state attorneys general filed antitrust lawsuits against Facebook in December. Now the company has issued a statement saying that they didn't make any credible claims that it violated antitrust laws, hurting consumers and competition in the process.

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A spokesperson said in a statement to Fox Business that people just have to look at their phones to see that "the government's assertion that Facebook monopolizes 'personal social networking services' doesn't make sense. The person also said the company competes with Snapchat, Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok, YouTube, iMessage "and countless others" for consumers' "time and attention every day."

The spokesperson pointed out that the FTC allowed Facebook to acquire WhatsApp and Instagram years ago and that since those acquisitions, "competition has only gotten more fierce." They added that consumers have "benefitted enormously from Facebook's investments in these free apps." The person also said the government wants to "rewrite history with its unprecedented lawsuit.

Background on the lawsuits

The FTC alleges that the social networking giant engaged in a "systematic strategy" to get rid of its competition. The agency accuses the company of purchasing smaller rivals that are up and coming to eliminate the competition. Facebook acquired Instagram in 2012 and WhatsApp in 2014.

New York Attorney General Letitia James led the antitrust lawsuit filed by the states, which accuses Facebook of using its deep pockets to acquire competing social networks that could challenge its dominance. The lawsuit also alleges that the social networking giant used third-party developers to build its user base and then shut down those that started to threaten its business.

James told Fox Business in a statement that the company is "wrong on the law and wrong on our complaint." She added that they are "confident" in their case, which is why nearly every state joined the case to "end Facebook's illegal conduct." She also said they would "continue to stand up for the millions of consumers and many small businesses that have been harmed by Facebook's unlawful behavior."

Facebook is part of the Entrepreneur Index, which tracks 60 of the largest publicly traded companies managed by their founders or their families. CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been at the helm since he founded the social networking giant, overseeing its many acquisitions and tremendous growth.

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