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Meta Beats Appeal In App Developer Antitrust Suit

 |  February 28, 2022

Meta Platforms beat an appeal in an antitrust suit Monday, as the Ninth Circuit dismissed a proposed class action brought by four app developers.

The app developers had accused the social media giant and Facebook parent company of using improper tactics to kill off rivals after acquiring WhatsApp and Instagram, reported Bloomberg Law. 

The developers alleged that Facebook had sought to crush competing apps by blocking their access to critical software tools unless they kicked back cash or data. The plaintiffs demands would have led to the WhatsApp and Instagram deals undone before the programs are fully integrated into Facebook’s flagship platform. 

The allegations feed into a widespread backlash against the so-called ‘Big Tech’ companies that have a dominating presence in many key markets and sectors of the world wide web. Various jurisdictions have questioned Facebook’s high-profile acquisition of former rival services WhatsApp and Instagram, including significantly increased scrutiny by the US Congress in 2021.

The four companies involved sued Facebook in US federal court on Thursday for alleged anticompetitive conduct, saying the social network inappropriately revoked developer access to its platform in order to harm prospective competitors.

The plaintiffs had sought class-action status and unspecified damages, according to a filing at the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

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