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Fed plans to use Facebook. Judge just usurped it.

“This decision underscores the critical need to modernize our antitrust laws to address anti-competitive mergers and improper behavior in the digital economy,” said Speaker of the House of Representatives Jerry Nadler. (D.N.Y.) and antitrust subcommittee chair David Cicilline (DR.I.) said in a statement on Monday. Four days after the board passed a bill aimed at regulating big tech companies, “according to the FTC and 48 state attorneys general, Facebook is a monopoly. and use its monopoly power to buy or misuse competitive threats.”

trial “Shows that urgent antitrust reform is needed,” said Colorado State Rep. Ken Buck, a leading Republican on Cicilline̵

7;s board and co-sponsor of the law for the FTC and the Justice Department to liquidate Facebook, Google, and Facebook. Apple and Amazon

Facebook’s share price rose after the judge’s decision. causing market capitalization to exceed $1 trillion Only four US companies are worth more: Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Alphabet, Google’s parent.

For now, Monday’s verdict marks a major setback in the technological antitrust crusade that has strengthened Washington and in nearly every state capital. The FTC filed a lawsuit against Facebook in December seeking an end to the ban. Monopoly on the company’s social media Two months after the Justice Department filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google.

President Joe Biden raised expectations this month for more aggressive action from the FTC, naming Lina Khan, a progressive advocate of tougher antitrust enforcement against Amazon, as the agency’s chairman.

But Boasberg’s verdict raises questions about what results Khan and the FTC’s new Democratic party can actually deliver. Because federal courts are skeptical of the proactive theory of antitrust enforcement.

especially The judge accused the agency of claiming that Facebook controls 60 percent of the social networking services market. Boasberg said the FTC and state prosecutors were “not bound” about Facebook’s market share and offered no examples of any competitors other than. Most and idle services like Path, MySpace and Friendster.

“It’s almost as if the agency expects the court to simply nod to the conventional wisdom that Facebook is a monopoly,” Boasberg wrote.

Facebook says it is not a monopoly because it faces competition from numerous other platforms that allow users to interact or send messages, including Google’s YouTube, Apple’s iMessage and other social networking sites such as Snapchat, Twitter, LinkedIn and others. TikTok

FTC spokesman Lindsay Kryzak said the agency “We are reviewing reviews closely and evaluating future best options.”

Facebook praised the decision to recognize “flaws” in government outfits.

“We compete fairly every day for people’s time and attention. and will continue to deliver great products for the people and businesses that use our services,” said company spokesperson Christopher Esgro.

This decision constitutes “Failure” is not the end of the FTC’s lawsuit against Facebook, said Charlotte Sleiman of tech advocacy group Public Knowledge. The judge gave the FTC until the end of July to file an updated petition with additional details addressing his concerns.

The agency could also choose to abandon Boasberg’s court entirely and file a complaint in home court, an option the FTC’s commission considered last year before deciding to move forward in federal court along with states. But that process can take longer than litigation in federal court.

Rebecca Kelly Slaughter, FTC Commissioner, who served as the agency’s acting chair from January until the beginning of this month. and voted in support of the case on Facebook The agency accepted the job in June. “Might hit a wall in court” as it tries to get a more high-profile antitrust case

“If the court doesn’t like That’s a good argument that our legislators say this is a problem with the law. It is not a lack of agency will or lack of market understanding,” Slaughter said.

That incentivized Congress to step in more. Antitrust advocates spoke after the ruling.

“The dismissal of the FTC’s lawsuit against Facebook merely underscores the need for Congress to act,” said New York Representative Hakeem Jeffries, a progressive Democrat and a key contributor to the bill (HR 3826. (117)) that would limit tech giants, say, their ability to buy potential competitors. The law is intended to prevent transactions such as Facebook purchases of Instagram and WhatsApp.

“We cannot let this behavior go unchecked,” Jeffries said.

However, these bills face a difficult road to enact. Due to opposition from both moderate Democrats and some Republicans. In particular, lawmakers from California, home of Silicon Valley. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Ohio State Representative Jim Jordan, the top GOP member of the House Judiciary, both oppose the law. But it supports a proposal to quickly pursue an antitrust case before the Supreme Court.

Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee, said the FTC should “do everything it can” to continue antitrust proceedings against Facebook. Why does the agency need a stronger tool from Congress?

“After decades of binding on Supreme Court rulings that weakened our antitrust policy, We cannot rely on our courts to keep our market competitive. Open and fair,” she said.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) – a former state attorney general before joining the Senate – said the decision. “Shows how damaged our antitrust laws are.”

Stacy Mitchell, co-director of the small business advocacy group Institute for Local Self-Reliance. Boasberg noted that Boasberg was among a long line of judges expressing skepticism about antitrust enforcement. Unsuccessful lawsuits by federal prosecutors in the past have included the Trump administration’s bid to stop AT&T from buying Time Warner and two FTC antitrust cases against Qualcomm and the contact lens retailer. 1-800-Contacts

“The court has a profoundly strong correlation with intense personal power and a resonant impulse to look beyond the challenges it faces,” said Mitchell, a prominent Amazon commentator who has pushed for a change in resistance. Parliament’s monopoly, therefore, she said. An antitrust bill is needed.

Other support groups also said Congress should take steps to control judges. which they say is too sympathetic to the problematic behavior of big companies.

Congress “must minimize the discretion the courts have. This is because decades of problematic jurisprudence have made it non-operational,” said David Segal, executive director of left-wing digital rights group Demand Progress.

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