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The FTC Faces a Legal Challenge From Meta

Meta Seeks Due Process.
Emily Hill
Contributing Writer

Meta has launched a legal battle against the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), questioning the constitutionality of the regulatory body’s structure. The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Washington, argues that the FTC’s use of in-house courts, where it acts as both prosecutor and judge, violates due-process guarantees. Meta seeks an injunction to halt the FTC’s proposed restrictions, including a blanket prohibition on monetizing data of users under 18, impacting the core of its ad-driven business model.

This move comes in response to the FTC’s attempt to tighten regulations on Meta, modifying a 2020 settlement that involved a $5 billion civil penalty over privacy practices. A recent federal judge’s decision allowing the FTC to proceed with modifications intensified Meta’s legal resistance.

Why it matters: Meta’s legal confrontation with the FTC holds significance as it underscores debates around the constitutionality of regulatory agencies and their enforcement powers. The lawsuit challenges the FTC’s ability to unilaterally modify settlements and impose restrictions, raising questions about due process and separation of powers.

  • The tech giant’s lawsuit echoes a huge challenge for the FTC’s enforcement powers, claiming “structurally unconstitutional authority.” This mirrors similar arguments made by other companies challenging regulatory agencies, and it aligns with a recent Supreme Court ruling that defendants can challenge the constitutionality of agency procedures before resolving the underlying case.
  • A ruling in favor of Meta could lead to a reevaluation of the regulatory framework, potentially impacting how agencies enforce settlements and impose restrictions on businesses. This could apply across various industries.
  • The outcome may also set a precedent for how technology companies navigate regulatory oversight, influencing the balance between corporate interests and regulatory authority.

Go Deeper –> Meta files suit to kneecap the FTC – Politico

Meta Sues FTC Over Its In-House Courts – The Wall Street Journal

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