Facebook filed a motion on Monday to dismiss the Federal Trade Commission’s revised antitrust lawsuit against the company, saying the agency’s complaint still lacked evidence that the company had violated antitrust laws.
In a filing to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Facebook said the agency failed to provide adequate evidence and analysis that the company had a monopoly and harmed rivals through its dominant position. The judge overseeing the case, James E. Boasberg, said in June that the agency had not established Facebook as a monopoly in its original lawsuit but gave the agency a chance to amend its complaint with a stronger analysis.
“This court gave the agency a second chance to make a valid claim,” the company said in its filing. “But the same deficiency that was fatal to the F.T.C.’s initial complaint remains: the amended complaint still pleads no facts plausibly establishing that Facebook has, and at all relevant times had, monopoly power.”
Facebook’s motion to dismiss the case was widely expected. The company’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, has promised to fight any government attempt to hobble the company through antitrust action.
The F.T.C., under the new leadership of Lina Khan, refiled the case in August with the same broad arguments and with some more analysis on market share and how Facebook used mergers with Instagram and WhatsApp to “buy or bury” competition. The agency also alleged that Facebook blocked rival apps from plugging into the Facebook platform, starving competition from accessing Facebook’s vast user base. The agency said in its suit that Facebook should be broken up.
The judge has until mid-November to respond to the company’s motion to dismiss the case.