Mon. Jan 24th, 2022

Tuesday, Federal Judge James E. Bosberg handed down the verdict Attempts by the Federal Trade Commission to dismantle Facebook Can move forward. The The case itself Far from the decision. But blessing the FTC’s theory that exclusive products can hurt consumers despite being free, the judge pointed out that Facebook এবং and other technology platforms নয় are not invincible.

It’s a big change from last summer. In June, Boasburg, a U.S. district court judge for the District of Columbia, approved Facebook’s offer to dismiss the case. (The company has since rebranded itself as a meta-platform, but Facebook has remained a name-calling contender.) The problem was, he thought, that the FTC – which seeks to overturn Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram and WhatsApp – provided no evidence that the company was exclusive. But in the same judgment Bosberg a Clear blueprint How to revive the suit. What the government had to do was provide evidence that Facebook has an influential share in the social networking market.

Two months later, the company filed a new complaint with ComScore’s Data Point, an analytics firm that uses Facebook itself, suggesting that the company dominates the market under a variety of metrics: daily active users, monthly active users and user spending time. New evidence seems to have influenced Bosberg. “In short,” he wrote The latest verdict“The FTC has done its homework this time.”

Market-share data does not automatically resolve issues. The FTC, Bossberg note, also needs to show that Facebook has been bad for so-called exclusive consumers. This is where the verdict becomes interesting. From the beginning, the no-confidence motion against companies like Facebook and Google has faced a major hurdle: How do you show that consumers are harmed by companies whose original offers are free? (Or, in the case of Amazon, famously cheap?) Antitrust laws are not technically about price, but since the late 1970s, judges have shown a tendency to interpret it as it were. The ideal way to argue against a corporate consolidation is to show that it will lead to higher prices. (See, for example Beef industry.)

In recent years, legal thinkers, including FTC Chair Lina Khan, have been creating another way to think about technological monopolies: when there is no competition, companies will be free to do things that users do not like and will feel less pressured to improve their products. Scholar Dina Srinivasan, for example, argues that Facebook has reduced its users Privacy values Once it defeated early competitors like MySpace. The FTC has included that theory in its summary, as well as several others. Facebook’s dominance, it argued, allowed the company to pack users’ feeds with more ads. And, as FTC noted, Facebook has killed its own in-house photo-sharing app after buying Instagram, suggesting that customers would have more choice if the two companies were rivals.

Until now, it has been an open question whether these non-value theories will succeed in court. Which is why it’s a big deal that Bosberg seems to have accepted them. “In short,” he wrote, “the FTC complained that while Facebook’s acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp did not result in higher prices, they did lead to poorer services and lower preferences for consumers.”

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