After the initial plea was dismissed by a federal judge, the US Federal Trade Commission has now come up with an amended antitrust petition accusing Facebook of its monopolistic practices.
The agency tagged that Facebook used its monopoly position to buy out rivals before they become a competition. This helped the social media company to gain a significant advantage over others, and position itself as a monopoly.
Facebook Accused of Monopolistic Practises
It’s usual that well-established companies actively lookout for competitors, to track their growth in comparison with themselves. This helps in forming plans that help to beat the competition.
One common practice in such situations is buying out budding rivals, which seem to find have the potential to grow up and give competition.
But, this was banned in most countries, as it kills innovation and new-age entrepreneurs. Thus, companies doing this will be slashed with hefty penalties or legal charges.
In this pursuit, Facebook was being charged by FTC as it used its monopoly position in the social media market to suppress the competition.
The agency has submitted an antitrust petition last month against Facebook, which was dismissed by the federal judge Judge James Boasberg since it lacked evidence to prove that Facebook has monopoly status in the market.
And the agency was asked to come up with an amended complaint before August 19th. Thus, FTC now showed up with an amended petition which is over 20 pages longer than the initial complaint.
In its lawsuit, FTC said Facebook followed its CEO Zuckerberg’s saying from 2008 – “it is better to buy than compete”.
“Facebook lacked the business acumen and technical talent to survive the transition to mobile. After failing to compete with new innovators, Facebook illegally bought or buried them when their popularity became an existential threat,” said Holly Vedova, FTC BC Acting Dir.
— FTC (@FTC) August 19, 2021
In this case, they bought out Instagram and WhatsApp in 2012 and 2014, as they seemed to have competitor potential.
As per their complaint, “True to that maxim, Facebook has systematically tracked potential rivals and acquired companies that it viewed as serious competitive threats.”
Facebook was asked to reply to the petition by October 4th. And after having a look at the amended petition, Facebook said “It is unfortunate that despite the court’s dismissal of the complaint and conclusion that it lacked the basis for a claim, the FTC has chosen to continue this meritless lawsuit.”