Facebook urges court to dismiss US Government, states antitrust cases

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Facebook has asked a federal court on Wednesday to dismiss major antitrust cases filed by the US Federal Trade Commission and nearly every US state, saying they failed to show that the company had a monopoly or harmed consumers.

FacebookIn lawsuits filed in December, the FTC and states asked the court to force the social media giant to sell two prized assets, its messaging app, WhatsApp and photo-sharing app, Instagram.

US District Judge, James Boasberg, in the District of Columbia will hear the cases.

The FTC and states accused Facebook of breaking antitrust law to keep smaller competitors at bay and snapping up social media rivals, like Instagram for $1 billion in 2012 and WhatsApp in 2014 for $19 billion.

All told, the federal government and states filed five lawsuits against Facebook and Alphabet’s Google last year following bipartisan outrage over use and misuse of social media clout both in the economy and in the political sphere.

In its response to the FTC lawsuit, Facebook argued that the government failed to show that Facebook had a monopoly in a clearly defined market or that it had hurt consumers.

The company also dismisses emails cited in the FTC lawsuit written by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other executives expressing worry about the competitive threat posed by Instagram and WhatsApp.

Separately, in the lawsuit brought by dozens of states and territories, Facebook argued that the state case should be dismissed because the states failed to show that they were harmed by Facebook and because they waited more than four years.

The states and FTC have until April 7 to respond.

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