Reuters: UK Court Rejects ‘$3.7 Billion’ Monopoly Lawsuit Against Facebook

February 27th, 2023 2:15 PM

A tribunal in the United Kingdom has temporarily delayed a £3 billion pound ($3.7 billion) lawsuit against Meta which alleged that the Big Tech giant monetized the personal data of users without compensation.

Reuters reported that the lawsuit was dismissed last week; however, the London tribunal ruled that the plaintiffs can refile the lawsuit within six months. Liza Lovdahl Gormsen, a plaintiff in the case, alleged the company profited from personal data without fairly compensating its users. The case was brought on behalf of 45 million Facebook users in the United Kingdom.

The tribunal granted Meta’s request to dismiss the lawsuit but ruled that the plaintiffs have another chance to come back to court with a stronger complaint that directly connects the alleged user loss to action taken by the company.

Judge Marcus Smith wrote that the plaintiffs have six months to "file additional evidence setting out a new and better blueprint leading to an effective trial," Reuters reported.

A spokesperson for Meta reportedly told Reuters that the company is pleased with the dismissal and referred to a previous statement alleging the lawsuit is "’entirely without merit.’” Meta did not address the likelihood that the plaintiffs will refile the lawsuit. 

Facebook has notably faced antitrust lawsuits in the United States in recent years.

An FTC complaint filed in 2021 alleged that the company “maintained its monopoly position by buying up companies that present competitive threats and by imposing restrictive policies that unjustifiably hinder actual or potential rivals that Facebook does not or cannot acquire.” 

MRC Free Speech America later reported that Facebook attempted to have the lawsuits dismissed:

“Facebook, in its motion to dismiss the states’ case, claimed, in part, that ‘the States lack standing to bring this case.’ Facebook further argued that ‘the States’ claims based on Facebook’s acquisitions are barred by the doctrine of laches, or unfair delay,’ which the platform suggested meant the states ‘waited far too long to act.’”

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