Internet antitrust laws need updating

While the most recent court opinion was disappointing, it’s far from the final blow in the fight against internet monopolies.

In fact, the ruling may just spur the long-term changes needed to rein in Big Tech’s powers.

On Monday, Facebook claimed a victory after a federal judge tossed out a pair of lawsuits by the Federal Trade Commission and 46 states arguing the social media company is violating antitrust laws.

U.S. District Judge James E. Boasberg dismissed the FTC case because he felt the commission had “legally insufficient” facts to prove that Facebook controls 60% of the social media market.

In the other case, Boasberg said that the state attorneys general had waited too long to challenge Facebook’s purchases of Instagram and WhatsApp, which were bought in 2012 and 2014.

The dismissal led to Facebook’s stock increasing to 4.2%; passing the $1 trillion mark in market capitalization for the first time.

By Tuesday, the dismissal had re-ignited talks to update internet antitrust laws by both Republicans and Democrats.

Leaders on the House Judiciary Committee, which recently approved five legislative proposals to regulate Facebook and other Big Tech leaders, said the ruling emphasized the need to update long-standing codes to regulate a rapidly changing online marketplace.

Those leaders are right. The laws in place, many of which were created in the 1990s, are insufficient and outdated.

Thankfully, while the judge dismissed the two complaints, there’s still some hope. Boasberg gave the FTC until July 29 to refile its complaint.

While it’s unlikely the new filings will sway the court, since antitrust interpretations have narrowed over the years, it’s significant that lawmakers are pushing harder than ever to make change happen.

Facebook is the most influential social media platform in the world, and is continuing to grow with little regulation. The company, like Google and Amazon, has been shielded by liability laws for far too long.

Companies like Facebook and Google have unlawfully monopolized the digital advertising market and engaged in illegal secretive deals, which has led to them dominating the web.

The influence these companies possess is measurable and should be regulated to prevent further monopolization.

Contact your representatives in the U.S. House and Senate and let them know that Big Tech needs to stop going unchecked.