Meta’s real antitrust problems are only beginning
Just over 13 months ago, the Trump-era Federal Trade Commission sought to break up Facebook. The lawsuit was a long time in coming — it sought to unwind acquisitions that were made in 2012 (Instagram) and 2014 (WhatsApp) — and, in its initial form, was laughed out of court. The FTC had not plausibly demonstrated that Facebook had a monopoly, Judge James E. Boasberg ruled at the time, and thus could not proceed.
Still, Boasberg offered the FTC a second chance: re-file the case with more evidence to support its central claim, and perhaps it could go to trial. In the intervening months, President Trump had been dislodged from office, and antitrust crusader Lina Khan took the reins at the FTC. To no one’s surprise, she took Boasberg up on…