The Federal Trade Commission and a big group of U.S. states asked a federal court on Wednesday to deny Facebook Inc’s request to dismiss major antitrust lawsuits filed against the social media giant in December.
The FTC, in its filing, said Facebook bought photo-sharing app Instagram because Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg believed it was “a large and viable competitor” and purchased the messaging app WhatsApp to neutralize a nascent threat. The FTC has asked the court to order Facebook to sell those assets.
The states, which had filed a separate antitrust lawsuit against Facebook, said in its filing: “Deploying a buy-or-bury scheme of predatory acquisitions and exclusionary conduct, Facebook successfully squashes, suppresses, and deters competition, entrenching its monopoly power to this day.”
Facebook had asked the court to dismiss the two lawsuits, alleging that they were brought “in the fraught environment of relentless criticism of Facebook for matters entirely unrelated to antitrust concerns.”