Meta, FTC, File Joint Statement Considering Disqualifying Agency Chair From Antitrust Lawsuit

On Monday, the Federal Trade Commision (FTC) and defendants, Meta Platforms, Inc., Mark Zuckerberg and Within Unlimited, Inc., filed a joint statement of recent decision to the Northern District of California in the case of Federal Trade Commission v. Meta Platforms Inc., et al

According to the statement, the FTC is now considering Meta’s motion to disqualify FTC Lina Khan from the proceedings. The statement is partially redacted but alludes to particular actions by Chair Khan and states that the redacted developments are reflected in an October 6, 2022 letter from the FTC Secretary to counsel. Further, the statement states that the October 6 letter has been submitted under seal because the FTC designated it as confidential. 

The lawsuit was initiated on July 7, 2022, when the FTC filed a complaint against the defendants seeking a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction to prevent Meta and Zuckerberg from consummating its proposed acquisition of Within Unlimited. Through the complaint, the FTC argues that the proposed transaction poses a threat to competition in the market for VR dedicated fitness apps and potential antitrust violations. 

The statement purports that the FTC’s motion to strike certain affirmative defenses by Meta is fully briefed and set for argument on October 21, 2022. 

Additionally, Law Street Media previously covered the FTC’s opposition to Meta Platforms Inc.’s motion to compel production of two internal memoranda from 2012 and 2014 regarding whether to investigate Facebook’s acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp. The D.C. District Court denied Meta’s motion on September 6, 2022.  

The FTC is represented by its own counsel and Facebook by Kellogg, Hansen, Todd, Figel & Frederick P.L.L.C., Hogan Lovells US LLP and Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP