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FTC Denies Facebook’s Request For Chair To Recuse Herself In Antitrust Probe

 |  February 2, 2023

The FTC denied a request by Meta to bar Lina Khan, the commission’s chair, from an antitrust case challenging its proposed acquisition of a virtual-reality startup.

The agency voted 2-1 in Khan’s favor, with the Republican on the commission dissenting, according to court filing on Thursday. The decision will allow the FTC’s case to move forward.

Read more: Facebook Asks US Court For Old FTC Merger Docs

A federal judge in California on Wednesday denied the FTC’s request to block the deal while an in-house trial over the Within Unlimited acquisition moves forward. US District Judge Edward Davila agreed to pause the deal for a week while the FTC decides whether to appeal his ruling, move forward with administrative litigation against the merger after it closes or dismiss the case altogether.

If the FTC moves forward with the administrative case, Khan would be among those deciding its outcome. Meta had objected to her involvement due to statements she’d made in the past about the company and its market power.