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Group Of US Lawmakers Ask FTC For New Facebook Antitrust Suit

 |  July 4, 2021

A bipartisan group of US lawmakers expert in antitrust urged the Federal Trade Commission Friday to press on with its lawsuit against Facebook, according to a statement from Senator Amy Klobuchar.

In a letter to new FTC Chair Lina Khan, Klobuchar, Senator Mike Lee and Representatives David Cicilline and Ken Buck urged the FTC to “pursue enforcement action against Facebook and to consider all available options under the law for ensuring that the commission’s claims receive a full and fair hearing.”

Klobuchar and Cicilline, both Democrats, and Lee and Buck, both Republicans, hold the top positions on congressional antitrust panels.

The FTC is expected to file a new complaint against Facebook after US District Judge James Boasberg of District of Columbia dismissed one filed in December, experts said.

That complaint, which asked him to require Facebook to sell photo sharing app Instagram and messaging app WhatsApp, fell short, Boasberg said, because the FTC failed to show the company had monopoly power and instances of alleged anticompetitive behavior were too old.

Several veteran FTC officials said it was implausible that the agency did not have data to back up its assertion that Facebook had “in excess of 60%” of the social media market.

“What he told them was ‘I’m not going to read the newspaper and believe that Facebook is a monopoly’,” said Andy Gavil, an FTC veteran who teaches at the Howard University School of Law.

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