Revived FTC Antitrust Suit Against Facebook Could Put Chill on Innovative Acquisitions in Tech Industry

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WASHINGTON – A federal judge today reversed an earlier decision and permitted a case filed against Facebook by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to proceed, alleging antitrust violations.

Director of CEI’s Center for Technology and Innovation Jessica Melugin said:

“Whatever the ultimate outcome of the suit, today’s decision is not good for the U.S tech industry or for consumers. As Judge Boasberg notes, ‘the agency may well face a tall task down the road in proving its allegations,’ but regardless, his decision to allow discovery will likely chill innovation in the tech sector in the meantime. If entrepreneurs keep having the rules changed on them – questioning past deals that were not challenged by regulators at the time – it leaves U.S. tech companies fearful to act and consumers with suboptimal results.”

Senior Fellow Ryan Young said:

“The FTC’s complaint argues that Facebook does not compete with its competitors, including TikTok and Twitter. This is similar to arguing that McDonald’s has a monopoly on McDonald’s-branded burgers, and does not compete with Wendy’s or Burger King. The fact that it took the FTC’s best lawyers more than a year to come up with this definition of the word ‘monopoly’ shows that they are not arguing from a position of strength.”