State AGs Appeal Dismissal Of Facebook Antitrust Case

Nearly four dozen states on Friday, January 14, asked a federal appeals court to reconsider an antitrust lawsuit against Facebook that a judge threw out last year, reported CNBC.

The states, led by New York AG Letitia James, argued the judge wrongly dismissed their case, which alleged Facebook, now known as Meta, illegally maintained monopoly power and made unlawful acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp to foreclose competition.

In June, US District Court Judge James Boasberg wrote that the long period of time the states waited to challenge the acquisitions was unprecedented on the state level and said its claims about Facebook’s attempt to amass power through its data policies were not illegal under antitrust law.

Related: FTC & 46 States Hit Facebook With Antitrust Suit

The states argue in their appeal that the court’s determination of an unreasonable delay in filing its case “does not apply against sovereign States suing to protect the public interest, like the States here.” They also wrote that the judge erred in determining Facebook’s data policies could not violate antitrust law.

Additionally, the states argued the district court judge wrongly presumed Facebook stopped the alleged unlawful behavior on its platform by 2018 and that injunctive relief should not be available in that case. But the states argued unlawful conduct continued and that the relief remains available even after the conduct stops.

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