back to article Court kills FTC, US states' antitrust complaints against trillion-dollar Facebook

A US federal court on Monday threw out an antitrust complaint that threatened to break up Facebook. The lawsuit, brought by the FTC, was dismissed because the judge felt the regulator had not provided sufficient evidence to back up its allegations of market abuse by the social network, and had wrongly assumed the Washington DC …

  1. Yes Me Silver badge

    Bit of extra text needed in the next version, then. The FCC's litigators clearly didn't think this through from the judge's point of view, but I'm sure they'll be back.

    1. JimboSmith Silver badge

      Think you mean FTC not FCC, though I agree given leave to appeal I hope they'll have another revised go.

      Sadly I can't avoid WhatsApp as my family and friends were using it long before Facebook got their hands on it. They continue to use it meaning I have to too.

      1. VTAMguy

        Your family dictates that you use WhatsApp? Please.

        I don't have or use any of the Facebook, whatsapp, twitter nonsense and if my family and friends don't like it they can go pound sand. I am contactable by text, email, phone, and in-person, none of which foist advertising on me and try to suck up as much personal information about me as they possibly can. The rest can take a long walk off a short pier, and I just don't care if someone is annoyed that I won't use the particular monopolist platform they happen to be addicted to. Go along to get along? Sure, but not for things that are actively harmful and predatory.

  2. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    I have to agree

    I have to agree. I'm not a fan of Facebook, but to take action against a company in the US under antitrust laws, they both have to have a dominant market petition and have to be using this position to lock out competition. Denying mergers and acquisitions can and is done for antitrust reasons. I could certainly see denying them further mergers and acquisitions of competitors. But the fact of the matter is they are not even close to having a monopoly, and (other than buying companies) are not accused of using their market position to limit competition (for example, Facebook does not have any clause prohibiting someone business or person with Facebook from using other services... unlike for example Microsoft, who has had in the past licensing fees that are per-computer, whether it has a single Microsoft product on it or not, and continues to this day to have deals with OEMs making it nearly impossible to buy a PC without Windows on it.)

    1. IGotOut Silver badge

      Re: I have to agree

      I didn't down bore you, but you need to get off the MS is evil ship Re licensing.

      The reason you "can't buy" pcs without windows is because 99.99% of the buying public WANT Windows. Add to this, due to the way pcs are made, it costs many companies the same to make it with Windows as without.

      Then you add the cost of adding a full retail licence to a bare pc and you see why its really sold with it.

      1. John Robson Silver badge

        Re: I have to agree

        "Then you add the cost of adding a full retail licence to a bare pc and you see why its really sold with it."

        That's the anti trust step right there...

        A discount I can deal with, the fact that it apparently doesn't save the companies any money not *not* ship windows.... implies that they are getting it for free or with an actual kickback.

        Most people wouldn't notice what the OS was, so long as it has a reasonably familiar UI, and either plays games (mostly pretty good cross platform support nowadays) or runs a word processor (which seem to be focussed on being browser based now).

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Looks like the Shills are already out in force.

    Facebook not only owns most of we think of as social media, it also owns the ACTUAL market. It owns social media/mobile ADS.

    Reddit and Twitter don’t matter in the ad game. The ad game is where the MONEY is. That 60% number us a flat out lie.

    Seems like this was destined to be appealed, as the judge is clearly blind. Better luck next time.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: Looks like the Shills are already out in force.

      your point is good - it's not about the "social network" services provided, but the AD NETWORK and NEWS FEED and (alleged) censorship and (alleged) 'Cancel Culture' where the (alleged) abuses are. THAT, and the (alleged) monetizing of the CUSTOMER through spying and tracking and targeting with ads. Alleged, that is.

      Unfortunately, the indications are that this FTC case was NOT addressing the REAL problem. And unfortunately certain provisions in U.S. Law (the infamous section 230) let it happen. Allegedly.

      From THIS article...

      "Section 230 was enacted in 1996 as part of a law called the Communications Decency Act, which was primarily aimed at curbing online pornography."

      "In practice, the law shields any website or service that hosts content – like news outlets’ comment sections, video services like YouTube and social media services like Facebook and Twitter – from lawsuits over content posted by users."

      "The law includes a provision that says that, so long as sites act in “good faith,” they can remove content that is offensive or otherwise objectionable."

      And the latter part (allegedly) is where the biggest bone of (alleged) contention (allegedly) is, and why MANY people (allegedly) want the social media providers reigned in, political "contributions in-kind" being one of the accusations involved.

      (doing my best to address the 'donkey in the room' without getting El Reg in trouble)

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Never used it

    1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

      Re: Facebook

      It used you

  5. Phones Sheridan Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    Desired outcome?

    Maybe this was the desired outcome. Get the case thrown out right at the beginning, then the FTC can get back to the real business of handling brown envelopes.

    I’ve often thought that in the same way, government officials should start petitions on for anything they want to sweep under the carpet early on. Once people have signed the petition on, they are less likely to then do it again on, which is the petition site the government has to respond to.

    1. logicalextreme

      Re: Desired outcome?

      Don't give them ideas

  6. elsergiovolador Silver badge

    Case lost

    Having 1 trillion dollar means you can buy both sides and make it look like an accident.

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