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Facebook asks court to dismiss FTC's amended antitrust complaint

The social network is accused of engaging in illegal behavior to maintain monopoly power.

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Angela Lang/CNET

Facebook on Monday filed a motion to dismiss the Federal Trade Commission's amended antitrust complaint against the social network. The FTC's amended complaint is focused on the social media giant's acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp. It accused Facebook of unlawfully maintaining its dominance by acquiring or eliminating companies it sees as competitive threats.

"The case is entirely without legal or factual support," Facebook said in its filing with the US District Court for the District of Columbia. "This is as true now as it was before." 

US District Judge James Boasberg in June dismissed an earlier antitrust complaint filed by the FTC, saying the agency hadn't provided enough evidence that Facebook has monopoly power in personal social networking. The FTC filed a new 80-page complaint in August, alleging that Facebook illegally crushed its rivals through tactics such as buying up competitors and restricting developers from accessing the social network's data.

Facebook on Monday said the amended complaint should "suffer the same fate" as the original, adding that the FTC can't credibly claim the social network has monopoly power. 

"The FTC's fictional market ignores the competitive reality: Facebook competes vigorously with TikTok, iMessage, Twitter, Snapchat, LinkedIn, YouTube, and countless others to help people share, connect, communicate or simply be entertained," said a Facebook spokesperson in an emailed statement. "We continuously innovate and improve our products and services to earn people's time and attention because we have to." 

The FTC didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.