Facebook was dealt a major blow today as Judge James Boasberg ruled the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) suit against it will not be dismissed.
The FTC had previously sued Facebook in December 2020, over what it said was anticompetitive behavior, only to have Judge Boasberg throw the case out. The FTC refiled, including more evidence to support its case that Facebook is a monopoly that abuses its power, buying up competitors to head off competition.
This time around, according to The Washington Post, the FTC has successfully convinced Judge Boasberg that it should have its day in court — although the judge seemed less than convinced the FTC could win its case.
“Although the agency may well face a tall task down the road in proving its allegations, the Court believes that it has now cleared the pleading bar and may proceed to discovery,” Boasberg wrote in his decision.
Facebook also lost its bid to force FTC chair Lina Khan to recuse herself. The company is opposed to her playing a role in the suit, given her past criticism of the company.
“Although Khan has undoubtedly expressed views about Facebook’s monopoly power, these views do not suggest the type of ‘axe to grind’ based on personal animosity or financial conflict of interest that has disqualified prosecutors in the past,” Boasberg wrote.
As with any case of this magnitude, it will likely take years to litigate.