Back in June 2021, Facebook stock shares rose on the dismissal of an FTC complaint which alleged antitrust business practices against the company. While some might expect that was the end of it, the judge actually ruled that some of the wording in the complaint was inaccurate, but the case was there. And so, the option was granted to allow for a new complaint to be filed with amended language regarding the case of Facebook’s antitrust practices. The FTC has officially filed that amended complaint.
The FTC filed its amended antitrust complaint against Facebook on August 19, 2021, as reported by CNBC. Back in June 2021, a federal judge threw out the FTC’s original complaint for a lack of sufficient facts to support claims made in said filing. However, the judge also made note that there were firmer grounds for a case in which Facebook was exhibiting antitrust practices. While Facebook claimed that the FTC didn’t have authority to pursue further complaint on those grounds, the judge disagreed in their formal decision and allowed for an amended complaint to be filed. Facebook now has until October 4, 2021 to respond to the amended complaint.
The FTC and 46 states in the USA first filed formal complaints in December 2020, claiming that Facebook has exhibited illegal anticompetitive practices in the social media space. The complaint, if upheld, would call for Facebook to divest out of acquisitions such as WhatsApp and Instagram, which are considered to be part of its overall monopolization.
It’s worth noting that in addition to this ongoing legal matter, Facebook has been mixed up in various other issues. The company came under fire for a letter penned by moderators claiming it does not do enough to look after the mental health and well-being of those who police violent and disturbing content on Facebook. Meanwhile, it would appear that CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been selling off large portions of stock in the company regularly for months.
It remains to be seen what will come of the latest FTC complaint, but if Facebook is found to be in violation of antitrust regulation, it could be the latest and most prominent issue in its growing pile. Stay tuned as we continue to follow this story for further updates and details.