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U.S. Chamber sides with Facebook in antitrust appeal

·1 min read
FILE PHOTO: A Facebook logo is displayed on a smartphone in this illustration

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The powerful U.S. Chamber of Commerce filed a brief on Monday, urging a D.C. appeals court to reject an appeal by a big group of U.S. states to revive their antitrust lawsuit against Meta Platform's Facebook.

The Chamber, along with the Computer and Communications Industry Association and Business Roundtable, argued that the district court judge hearing the case was right to toss it out because the states had waited too long to file their case.

Judge James Boasberg of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia last July dismissed the states' lawsuit against Facebook, saying they delayed in challenging the acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp in 2012 and 2014 respectively.

Boasberg, who also dismissed a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, allowed the agency to refile its complaint but did not do so for the states.

The group, made up of 46 states, Guam and the District of Columbia, argued that Boasberg erred in ruling they had waited too long to file the lawsuit and asked an appeals court to reinstate the case.

The business organizations argued further that the states were wrong in arguing that Facebook broke the law with exclusionary conduct, in executing what the states called a "buy-or-bury strategy." The business groups' brief called this position "dubious and dangerous."

(Reporting by Diane Bartz; editing by Richard Pullin)