Facebook ruling triggers bipartisan calls for changes to U.S. competition law


After two landmark attempts to split Facebook failed, senior members of Congress once again called for a thorough reform of the US competition law.

Democratic and Republican criticism Federal Court’s Decision On Monday, the Federal Trade Commission dismissed one complaint against social media companies and another complaint from individual states.

Some people stated that the judgment indicated the need to rewrite antitrust rules, and six of the main bills are aimed at Control the power of big technology Debating on Capitol Hill.

Democratic Chairman of the Senate Antitrust Committee, Amy Klobuchar (Amy Klobuchar), Tweet“The ruling explains why our antitrust laws need to be updated after years of bad precedents. We cannot meet the challenges of the modern digital economy by streamlining institutions and limited legal tools.”

Ken Barker, the most senior Republican on the House Antitrust Committee, said: “Congress needs to provide our antitrust enforcers with additional tools and resources to track down large technology companies engaged in anti-competitive behavior.”

Many experts expect that the FTC will re-initiate a lawsuit against Facebook after a federal judge’s ruling on Monday.

Judge James Boasberg of Washington, D.C. said in a severe ruling U.S. Federal Trade Commission litigation “It is not legally enough,” and the federal agency “failed to provide sufficient facts to reasonably prove” that Facebook has a monopoly on the social network market.

“[W]Regardless of what it means to the public, “monopoly power” is an artistic term under federal law with precise economic meaning: the power to profitably raise prices or eliminate competition in a properly defined market,” he wrote.

The FTC will have 30 days to file a new complaint. The regulator said in a statement that it “is closely reviewing opinions and evaluating the best options for the future.”

Boasberg also dismissed a similar case composed of 46 states and two other jurisdictions-led by New York Attorney General Letitia James-on the grounds that any alleged violations are It happened a long time ago. The New York Attorney General is reviewing the decision.

After the news, Facebook shares rose more than 4% A record high At US$357.36, the company’s market value exceeded US$1 trillion for the first time.

“We are very pleased that today’s decision recognizes that the government’s complaints against Facebook are flawed,” the social media group said, adding that Facebook “plays fair competition every day to win people’s time and attention.”

The decision was a setback for the regulators, they The company was accused in December of last year Anti-competitive behaviors include the “buy or bury” method of strategically snapping up competitors or cutting off services that threaten their monopoly power.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission said at the time that it was seeking penalties, including forcing the separation of Facebook from Instagram and WhatsApp, which the social media giant acquired in 2012 and 2014 for US$1 billion and US$19 billion, respectively Giant.

But the judgment specifically illustrates the challenges faced by those trying to redefine US antitrust laws for the digital age, because legislation debated by members of Congress will make it easier to sue large technology companies.

Traditionally, regulators have demonstrated that companies have abused market power by showing how groups have unfairly increased prices for customers.

But scholars, such as the famous large-scale science and technology critic Lina Khan (Lina Khan) and Newly appointed FTC chairman, Believes that companies can abuse their market power without charging any fees, whether by reducing services or requiring customers to hand over more personal data.

“The power of Facebook is obvious, but we have a judge here who is investigating the mysterious details that make up the market,” said former FTC chairman William Kovac. “It will be seen as an exact example of why we need to change the law.”


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