Facebook asks FTC chair to recuse herself from antitrust case

Petition takes a leaf from Amazon's playbook

Facebook has asked Federal Trade Commission (FTC) chair Lina Khan to recuse herself from the Commission's decision to refile its antitrust case against the social media giant

The FTC and 46 states had sued Facebook in December, alleging the company used monopolistic practices to extend the dominance of its social networking platform. The complaint cited activities including Facebook's purchases of Instagram and WhatsApp, along with its alleged use of anti-competitive terms and conditions with software developers. Guam and the District of Columbia also sued. 

At the end of June, a federal judge threw out the suit, arguing prosecutors failed to provide enough evidence the company holds a monopoly in the social networking market. States had also waited too long to bring their case, he added. He gave the FTC 30 days to refile the case but also suggested it would face serious challenges if it did so. The FTC has been deliberating on whether to refile.

In its petition, Facebook argued Khan has a history of public statements accusing Facebook of anti-competitive conduct. "Indeed, she has led an organization lobbying the Commission to impose particular remedies against Facebook and, more recently, commented publicly as to her personal beliefs on the merits of the very complaint filed by the Commission last December," the petition said. 

Related Resource

Waste not, want not: What to do with unneeded office equipment

Sample our exclusive Business Briefing content

Trash heap full of office equipment - The Business Briefing from IT ProDownload now

Facebook's petition follows a similar one Amazon filed last month, which also called for Khan to recuse herself from the FTC's investigation into the e-commerce giant's practices. The investigation is separate from an antitrust lawsuit that Washington, DC filed against Amazon in May

Khan is an outspoken advocate for traditional antitrust principles, which she laid out in a 2017 Yale Law Journal article. That article, which addressed Amazon specifically, argued it might be necessary to view large tech companies like Amazon as common carriers. 

Her response to the petition will be pivotal to the decision about refiling the Facebook case, which will fall to the FTC's commissioners for a vote. Khan's vote cements a 3-2 Democrat majority on the commission. Without her, it is unlikely the vote will make it through.

Featured Resources

The ultimate law enforcement agency guide to going mobile

Best practices for implementing a mobile device program

Free download

The business value of Red Hat OpenShift

Platform cost savings, ROI, and the challenges and opportunities of Red Hat OpenShift

Free download

Managing security and risk across the IT supply chain: A practical approach

Best practices for IT supply chain security

Free download

Digital remote monitoring and dispatch services’ impact on edge computing and data centres

Seven trends redefining remote monitoring and field service dispatch service requirements

Free download

Recommended

IT Pro News in Review: MacBook refresh, Facebook creating jobs and facial recognition in schools
Hardware

IT Pro News in Review: MacBook refresh, Facebook creating jobs and facial recognition in schools

22 Oct 2021
Facebook's Oversight Board demands more transparency
social media

Facebook's Oversight Board demands more transparency

21 Oct 2021
Facebook claims AI managed to reduce hate speech by 50%
social media

Facebook claims AI managed to reduce hate speech by 50%

18 Oct 2021
Facebook to hire 10,000 workers across the EU
social media

Facebook to hire 10,000 workers across the EU

18 Oct 2021

Most Popular

Best Linux distros 2021
operating systems

Best Linux distros 2021

11 Oct 2021
Apple MacBook Pro 15in vs Dell XPS 15: Clash of the titans
Laptops

Apple MacBook Pro 15in vs Dell XPS 15: Clash of the titans

11 Oct 2021
Windows 11 has problems with Oracle VirtualBox
Microsoft Windows

Windows 11 has problems with Oracle VirtualBox

5 Oct 2021