Facebook asks judge to toss antitrust suits, claiming no consumer harm

Extreme close-up image of Facebook and Instagram icons on a smartphone screen.

Enlarge / Just two of the many apps Facebook owns and operates. (credit: Tom Weller | DeFodi Images | Getty Images)

Facebook is asking a federal judge to dismiss landmark antitrust suits against the company, arguing that its “innovative free products deliver value” to consumers and that there’s no evidence it behaved anticompetitively or broke the law.

The Federal Trade Commission and almost every state in the country filed a pair of lawsuits in December arguing that Facebook abused its market power when it acquired rival firms, most notably WhatsApp and Instagram, and thus prevented competitors from presenting a more privacy-conscious alternative to consumers.

“Facebook’s actions to entrench and maintain its monopoly deny consumers the benefits of competition,” FTC Bureau of Competition Director Ian Conner said at the time. “Our aim is to roll back Facebook’s anticompetitive conduct and restore competition so that innovation and free competition can thrive.”

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