U.S. states appeals court to reinstate Facebook’s antitrust lawsuit

U.S. states appeals court to reinstate Facebook’s antitrust lawsuit

A sizable consortium of American states, led by New York, has recently requested an appeals court to restore an antitrust case against Meta Platforms, Inc.s Facebook on the grounds that the companys actions continue to cause harm and that the states did not wait too long to register their complaint.

The solicitor general of New York, Barbara Underwood, who headed the coalition of 46 states, Guam, and the District of Columbia, excluding Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and South Dakota, said that it was unfair to treat individual states like a class action and to restrict when they can file lawsuits.

According to Barbara, "laches," which prohibit an excessive delay in filing, would not be applicable because the states' actions were more comparable to law enforcement. Further, she also mentioned that the market and the economy were hurt by Facebook's actions.

Coincidentally, the states are requesting the three-judge panel on the U.S. Court of Appeals for Columbia’s district court to reinstate a case filed in 2020, the same year that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sued the company.

It is worth mentioning that the FTC and the states had both urged the court to require Facebook to sell WhatsApp and Instagram, which it had purchased in 2014 for USD 19 billion and in 2012 for USD 1 billion, respectively, the legal battle for which is still active.

Aaron Panner made the case for Facebook, which had been successful in having the state complaint dismissed, claiming that both of the company's purchases were widely reported at the same time.

He argued that the conduct occurred years ago and did not generate antitrust concern at the time, adding that laches should be applied because the state complaint was more a class action and less of a law enforcement matter.

Meta’s legal team maintained that these transactions were transparent and broadcasted at the time, and if a lawsuit is filed at the end of 2020 for it, then the doctrine of laches should safeguard the company against such unjust delay.

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Rashi Thakkar

Rashi Thakkar

Rashi started her journey in content when she was completing her MBA. Since then, she has helped well-known startups and businesses boost their online presence. Currently Rashi pens downs insightful articles for AlpenHornNews and various other websites, covering an array of sectors from finance and business to technology and healthcare.