US Federal Court Dismisses Antitrust Lawsuit Against Meta Platforms Inc
The U.S. Court has dismissed the lawsuit filed against Meta Platforms Inc that alleged the platform’s Facebook Social Media Business drove out of business a now-defunct photo software application startup in violation of federal antitrust law.
U.S. District Judge Kiyo Matsumoto in Brooklyn, New York, Federal Court observed that Phhhoto Inc had failed to timely bring its claims under relevant U.S. antitrust law that sets a four-year window and under New York state competition provisions that have a three-year statute of limitation.
Facebook was defending against claims from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission in Washington, D.C., Federal Court said that the company abused its personal social networking dominance. Facebook had vehemently opposed that; it had any anticompetitive conduct.
“Phhhoto has failed in its 69-page amended complaint of 222 paragraphs to allege sufficient facts that cure the untimeliness of all of its federal claims,” stated Matsumoto. She further added, “no exception applies to toll the limitations periods.”
The Court refused to allow Phhhoto to fine-tune its case and bring another complaint.
In a statement, a Meta spokesperson described the suit as ‘meritless.’ Phhhoto launched in 2014, providing an app that said it ‘created a five-frame, looping video.’ Meta two years earlier had acquired photo-sharing app Instagram for $1 billion.
Phhhoto's lawsuit, filed in 2021, alleged Facebook aimed to ‘crush’ the photo-sharing application, which called itself in court filings “an innovative nascent competitor.”
“Meta used its control of critical infrastructure to degrade the quality of Phhhoto's content and the performance of its app, as well as to mislead and harm consumers,” Phhhoto's attorneys told the Court.
The case was among several actions accusing Facebook of violating competition law.