The US is requesting more time to re-file its antitrust case against Facebook.
Antitrust regulators in the United States have requested a federal court for more time to re-file a monopoly abuse lawsuit against Facebook, which could force the company to reverse its acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp. The case was previously dismissed last month.
According to a petition in court Friday and uploaded online Monday, the Federal Trade Commission stated Facebook did not object to the request to extend the reporting deadline by three weeks until August 19.
The FTC will have more time to revise its case argument as a result of the delay.
Judge James Boasberg of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia ruled in a 53-page opinion last month that the agency’s initial action lacked proof, particularly in defining the market that Facebook was allegedly monopolizing.
According to the judge’s June 28 ruling, the FTC’s action was predicated on a “vague” statement that Facebook controlled more than 60% of the social networking industry. However, the FTC “does not even suggest what it is measuring.”
The December FTC complaint, according to the judge, “states essentially nothing solid on the fundamental question of how much control Facebook truly had… It’s almost as if the FTC expects the court to simply agree with the general consensus that Facebook is a monopoly.”
The judge dismissed the states’ complaint, stating the attorneys general had waited too long to file the lawsuit over the acquisition of Instagram in 2012 and WhatsApp in 2014.
He gave the FTC 30 days to refile the complaint at first.
According to the new FTC filing, the agency plans to file an amended complaint by August 19, and Facebook has until October 4 to respond. Additional FTC and Facebook briefs will be issued on November 17 and December 1, respectively.
The decision comes amid a stepped-up antitrust crackdown by US regulators on the major technological companies, such as Facebook, Apple, Amazon, and Google, which have progressively controlled crucial sectors of the economy.