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States to Fight Dismissal of Antitrust Lawsuit Against Facebook

July 28, 2021 by Dan McCue
An iPhone displays the apps for Facebook and Messenger in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane)

WASHINGTON — Attorneys general from 45 states, the District of Columbia and Guam served notice on Wednesday that they are appealing a federal judge’s decision to throw out their antitrust lawsuit against Facebook.

“We filed this notice of appeal because we disagree with the court’s decision and must hold Facebook accountable for stifling competition, reducing innovation, and cutting privacy protections. We can no longer allow Facebook to profit off of exploiting consumer data,” said New York Attorney General Letitia James in a written statement.

In June, U.S. District Judge James Boasberg threw out the attorneys general’s lawsuit, ruling the states had waited too long to challenge Facebook’s 2012 Instagram and 2014 WhatsApp purchases.

On the same day, Boasberg also rejected the Federal Trade Commission’s antitrust lawsuit against Facebook, though he gave the agency the opportunity to refile its case. Earlier this week, the judge granted the FTC a three week extension, giving it until Aug. 19 to refile.

The states are arguing Facebook violated Section 2 of the Sherman Act by blocking interoperability for certain apps. 

But in a statement of its own, Facebook said it believed the District Court’s decision dismissing the states’ complaint was correct.

“We … look forward to defending the District Court’s decision before the Court of Appeals,” the social media giant said.

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