FTC’s Monopoly Claims Are “Speculation” Says Facebook

Facebook is holding on to its position that its social media company is no monopolist, according to a new court filing. The social media giant argues that the US Federal Trade Commission shouldn’t be allowed to go forward with an antitrust lawsuit against it, reported Yahoo News. Facebook wrote that the FTC’s monopoly claims are mere “speculation”.

“[R]ather than plead facts that could show monopoly power, [FTC] relies on inapposite statistics and admitted assumptions to dress up conclusory speculation,” Facebook said in its reply brief filed Wednesday.

“The FTC still has not identified a single commercial actor, anywhere, that recognizes a PSNS market as defined, much less tracks PSNS usage in a way that might permit assessment of market shares,” the filing states. Additionally, the company goes on to say, “no plausible factual support exists” for the agency’s claim that it has power to raise prices or restrict output in the purported market.

The FTC’s high-profile case against Facebook represents one of the biggest challenges the government has brought against a tech company in decades, and is being closely watched as Washington aims to tackle Big Tech’s extensive market power, according to Yahoo.

Officials are looking into whether Facebook research documents indicate that it might have violated a 2019 settlement with the agency over privacy concerns, for which the company paid a record $5 billion penalty, one of the people said.

Judge James E. Boasberg, a federal judge in DC, tossed the FTC’s initial complaint in June after concluding the agency fell short of defining Facebook as a monopolist; however, the judge allowed the agency to file an amended lawsuit.

Related: Judge Dismisses FTC’s Antitrust Lawsuit Against Facebook

In its revised claims, the FTC argues that the social media giant stands in a special class of social networking services, apart from the likes of TikTok and Twitter. Those other services do not compete directly with Facebook, the FTC argues. Facebook wrote that the FTC’s monopoly claims are mere “speculation”.