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White House encouraged by rejection of Facebook request to dismiss antitrust lawsuit By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A woman holds smartphone with Facebook logo in front of a displayed Facebook’s new rebrand logo Meta in this illustration picture taken October 28, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

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By Kanishka Singh

(Reuters) -The White House said on Wednesday it was encouraged by a U.S. judge’s decision not to dismiss the Federal Trade Commission’s antitrust lawsuit against Facebook (NASDAQ:).

“Certainly we are encouraged by the district court’s decision”, White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters. “We’ve been clear and he (President Joe Biden) has been clear we need more competition in the tech industry.”

Facebook, now Meta Platforms, had asked Judge James Boasberg in Washington, D.C., federal court to dismiss the lawsuit in which the government asked the court to demand that Facebook sell Instagram and WhatsApp.

The judge said the FTC had a plausible case that should be allowed to proceed. It represents one of the biggest challenges the government has brought against Big Tech in decades.

Meta said that it was confident the company would prevail in court, adding that the judge’s decision on Tuesday narrowed “the scope of the FTC’s case”.

The judge said the FTC could not press allegations that Facebook refused to allow interoperability permissions with competing apps as a way to maintain its dominance, saying those policies had been abandoned in 2018 and Facebook’s most recent enforcement of the policy was even older.

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