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Judge grants U.S. FTC more time to file amended complaint against Facebook

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FILE PHOTO: A Facebook logo is displayed on a smartphone in this illustration
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(Reuters) -A U.S. judge on Friday gave the U.S. Federal Trade Commission until Aug. 19 to file an amended complaint in its antitrust lawsuit against Facebook Inc, an extension of three weeks from the previous deadline.

Judge James Boasberg of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia granted the FTC's request for the extension, which was not opposed by Facebook.

"Plaintiff shall file an amended complaint by August 19, 2021," Boasberg said in his order, adding that Facebook should respond to the mended complaint by Oct. 4.

Boasberg had earlier said the FTC's initial complaint failed to show that Facebook had monopoly power in the social networking market but said the FTC could file a new complaint by July 29.

"The requested extension will provide sufficient time for plaintiff to complete internal agency processes with respect to filing an amended complaint," the FTC said in its filing.

Facebook declined comment.

The agency voted 3-2 last year to file the lawsuit against Facebook. The chair at the time, Joe Simons, a Republican, voted for the lawsuit. Since then, the agency chair changed to Lina Khan, a Democrat. Facebook has asked for her to be recused because of her prior work with a congressional panel.

(Reporting by Elizabeth Culliford and Diane Bartz; Editing by Leslie Adler and Grant McCool)