In December 2020, the US Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) filed a lawsuit against Facebook for a “buy or bury” strategy to new entrants. The claim argued that Facebook was illegally maintaining its social networking monopoly through an anti-competitive campaign to either acquire or kill potential competitors.
The claim was dismissed by US District Judge James Boasberg in June 2021, due to lack of evidence to support the argument that Facebook has a monopoly in the social networking market.
The FTC was given 30 days to append the relevant evidence and refile, which was subsequently extended to 19 August 2021.
On 19 August 2021, the FTC refiled the claim with an amended complaint against Facebook which the FTC says includes “additional data and evidence to support the FTC’s contention that Facebook is a monopolist that abused its excessive market power to eliminate threats to its dominance.”
The complaint is viewed as a big test for the FTC’s chair, Lina Khan, who was appointed by President Biden in June 2021, and who Facebook is seeking to bar from participation in the case due to claims of bias. It will certainly be a case to watch as it progresses.
Please contact Tim Cowen with questions.