Judge James Boasberg, the judge in the U.S. government’s antitrust case against Facebook, said Tuesday that the social media company’s request to dismiss the lawsuit raises several serious challenges and places the discovery process on hold.
Boasberg said he expects to decide next month on the request for dismissal.
Facebook is seeking the dismissal of both lawsuits, one by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the other by a number of states, arguing that they were brought in a tense environment of persistent criticism of Facebook over issues unrelated to antitrust concerns.
In a second motion, Facebook called for the FTC’s lawsuit against the company, which calls for the sale of WhatsApp and Instagram, to be dismissed, arguing that the Supreme Court’s decision allows the FTC to cite a specific section of FTC law just to demand an end to the behavior.
The FTC and a group of states filed separate lawsuits last year accusing Facebook of violating antitrust rules to keep smaller competitors at bay by acquiring rivals, such as the $1 billion acquisition of Instagram in 2012 and Whatsapp in 2014 for $19 billion.
Following cross-party outrage over the abuse of the influence of social media in business and politics, the federal and state governments also filed five lawsuits against Facebook and Google in 2020.
For more information, read the original story in Reuters.