WASHINGTON, D. C., DPA – US regulators have filed a revised antitrust complaint against Facebook, as they continue their fight with the social networking behemoth after a federal judge dismissing their previous antitrust lawsuit.
In the latest complaint, the Federal Trade Commission alleges Facebook has “resorted to an illegal buy-or-bury scheme to maintain its dominance”.
The complaint continues to allege that Facebook unlawfully acquired innovative competitors with popular mobile features that succeeded where Facebook’s own offerings fell flat or fell apart.
The complaint also states that Facebook lured app developers to the platform, surveilled them for signs of success, and then buried them when they became competitive threats.
Facebook has until October 4 to respond to the FTC’s amended complaint.
In June, US District Judge James Boasberg in Washington had dismissed complaints against Facebook filed by the FTC and state attorneys-general led by New York’s Letitia James.
The complaint was seeking to break Facebook’s monopoly in social networking, which could have resulted in divestiture of Instagram and WhatsApp.
In the complaint, the FTC and the states had claimed Facebook violated antitrust laws by buying photo-sharing app Instagram and messaging service WhatsApp to eliminate any competition and continue its monopoly.
However, the court said the FTC did not prove Facebook controlled more than 60 per cent of the market – a monopoly.
Facebook boasts of nearly 2.85 billion monthly active users globally, while Instagram has nearly 1.074 billion and WhatsApp is reported to have more than two billion.