Social media giants Meta and Snap will do battle in court over data Meta says it needs to defend against a US government antitrust lawsuit. 

In a filing with a California federal court, Meta said the information can help refute the Federal Trade Commission’s claim that it has a monopoly in “personal social networking services.” 

The data it seeks includes the number of Snap users and the amount of time they spend on the app, which it claims will help in calculating Meta’s market share.


However, Snap is resisting the request, with its lawyers claiming Meta’s demand is too broad and overly burdensome.

Meta’s lawyers described Snap as “centrally important” to the FTC’s complaint as a rival of Meta’s Facebook platform in a filing in federal court in Los Angeles.

They claim that the corporation refused to provide the vast majority” of data requested in February via subpoenas.

Meta stated that it was collecting data pertaining to Snap’s assessments of Meta’s takeover of the photo-sharing site Instagram in 2012 and the messaging app WhatsApp in 2014.

The FTC’s suit in Washington, D.C., accuses Meta of abusing its market position and attempts to unravel those deals.

However, Meta has denied any market manipulation.

Federal judges are frequently called upon to referee disputes in which one firm wants business information from another.

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Meta said the “subpoena we served on Snap is standard procedure in civil antitrust litigation,” and “is important to the preparation of Meta’s defense against the FTC’s meritless case.”

Snap has asked the court to overturn or limit Meta’s subpoenas.

A Snap representative stated that the firm should not be forced to “share untold mountains of documents and data, including the most competitively sensitive information in Snap’s possession.”

In the D.C. case, US District Judge James Boasberg denied Meta’s request to dismiss the agency’s antitrust complaint in January.

Snap’s attorney, Justina Sessions of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich Rosati said, Meta’s request for documents would force Snap to “reconstruct virtually every decision Snap has made.”

Sessions did not answer immediately to a message requesting comment, and Meta’s attorneys at O’Melveny & Myers and Kellogg, Hansen, Todd, Figel & Frederick did not react promptly to a similar request.

The FTC has proposed a December 2023 trial date, and Meta has requested additional time from the court.

Source: Reuters

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