Facebook calls antitrust lawsuits ‘revisionist history’

On Wednesday afternoon, the Federal Commerce Fee and a coalition of 48 state attorneys common filed broad antitrust charges against Facebook, searching for a reversal of its acquisitions of WhatsApp and Instagram. Now, Fb has responded to these prices in an intensive submit titled “Lawsuits Filed by the FTC and the State Attorneys General Are Revisionist History,” written by common counsel Jennifer Newstead.

Newstead’s major protection is that each acquisitions resulted in higher merchandise for shoppers — an implicit reference to the “consumer harm” standard that has additionally been central to the Division of Justice’s case towards Google.

“These transactions have been meant to offer higher merchandise for the individuals who use them, and so they unquestionably did,” Fb argues. “The FTC and states stood by for years whereas Fb invested billions of {dollars} and thousands and thousands of hours to make Instagram and WhatsApp into the apps that customers take pleasure in as we speak.”

Fb additionally takes difficulty with the retroactive nature of the breakup. Each acquisitions are greater than 5 years outdated, and have been authorized by regulatory companies on the time.

“Regulators accurately allowed these offers to maneuver ahead as a result of they didn’t threaten competitors,” the submit reads, detailing the FTC and European Fee critiques of the offers. “This lawsuit dangers sowing doubt and uncertainty in regards to the US authorities’s personal merger overview course of and whether or not buying companies can truly depend on the outcomes of the authorized course of.”

The query of retroactive overview is an open subject in authorized circles, however some scholars have argued it’s helpful for regulators to revisit beforehand cleared transactions.

The submit additionally instantly addresses one if the central allegations of each lawsuits — that Fb locks out doubtlessly aggressive merchandise from its platform, ravenous opponents of a much-needed person base. This habits was notably stark within the case of Vine, which was locked out of Fb’s social API features as quickly because it was acquired by Twitter, reportedly at the direction of Mark Zuckerberg himself.

Within the submit, Newstead claims this type of API restriction is commonplace follow for platforms. “The place platforms give entry to different builders — and many don’t present entry in any respect — they often prohibit duplication of core features,” the submit reads. “LinkedIn, The New York Occasions, Pinterest and Uber, to call just a few, all have related insurance policies.”

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