WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Social media giant Facebook, in a court filing late Tuesday, said a Supreme Court ruling last week means a Federal Trade Commission antitrust lawsuit against it calling for the sale of WhatsApp and Instagram should be dismissed.
The U.S. Supreme Court last Thursday made it more difficult for the Federal Trade Commission to seek relief from companies.
Facebook argued in its court filing that the ruling allows the FTC to use a particular section of the FTC ACT only to demand that certain behavior stop, but the FTC lawsuit does not allege that it is currently breaking the law.
With the Supreme Court ruling, Facebook’s lawyers argued, “the FTC lacks statutory authority to maintain its lawsuit in federal district court.”
The FTC and a big group of states filed separate lawsuits last year that accused Facebook of breaking antitrust law to keep smaller competitors at bay by snapping up rivals, like Instagram for $1 billion in 2012 and WhatsApp in 2014 for $19 billion. The FTC has asked that Facebook be forced to sell WhatsApp and Instagram
(Reporting by Diane Bartz; editing by Richard Pullin)