“Although the Court does not agree with all of Facebook’s contentions here, it ultimately concurs that the agency’s Complaint is legally insufficient and must therefore be dismissed. The FTC has failed to plead enough facts to plausibly establish a necessary element of all of its Section 2 claims — namely, that Facebook has monopoly power in the market for Personal Social Networking (PSN) Services,” Judge James E. Boasberg said in the memorandum opinion.
The complaint alleges that Facebook has maintained a monopoly, in violation of Section 2 of the Sherman Act, by acquiring firms that it believed to be competitive threats, including Instagram and WhatsApp, and adopting policies that inhibited interoperability between Facebook and other apps that they believed could grow into viable competitors.
The FTC was seeking equitable relief for the allegations, including a forced “divestiture or reconstruction of businesses,” as well as orders not to behave similarly in the future.
Boasberg noted that the court only dismissed the FTC complaint against Facebook, however, and not the whole case.
He stated that the FTC’s inability to offer any indication of the way in which it calculated Facebook’s market share renders the accusations of the complainant too vague to go forward, but because the FTC could easily refile the complaint to address those concerns, Boasberg is dismissing the current case in a way which will allow them to file an amended version.