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Federal court dismisses FTC’s bid to unwind Instagram from Facebook

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facebook stock art Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

On Monday, a US District Court dealt a huge blow to the federal government’s antitrust case against Facebook by dismissing a complaint filed against the company by the Federal Trade Commission. The lawsuit, filed late last year, sought to unwind Facebook’s acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp. The judge also dismissed an associated case filed by a group of state attorneys general.

In its initial complaint, the FTC alleged that Facebook violated federal antitrust laws by purchasing a would-be competitor in the social media market. But in his decision to dismiss the complaint Monday, Judge James E. Boasberg wrote that the FTC offered insufficient evidence for its central claim — that Facebook wields monopoly power.

“The FTC has failed to...

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