Bloomberg Law
Aug. 3, 2022, 10:49 PM

Meta Asks Court to Force Snap to Hand Over Data in FTC Fight (2)

Tina Davis
Tina Davis
Bloomberg News

Meta Platforms Inc. is asking a judge to force Snap Inc. to hand over data it says is needed to help the Facebook owner defend against a US government antitrust lawsuit.

In a filing with a federal court in California, Meta said Snap should turn over information it says can help refute the Federal Trade Commission’s contention that it has a monopoly in “personal social networking services.” Meta said it served its subpoena on Snap more than five months ago. Among the data it seeks is the number of Snap users and the amount of time they spend on the app, which it says will help with the assessment of Meta’s market share.

“After months of delay, Snap has refused to produce the vast majority of the documents Meta has requested,” according to the filing, dated Aug. 2 and posted Wednesday. Snap “has refused to provide critical information about the competitive marketplace (a key issue in this antitrust case); it will not even conduct standard custodial searches for emails and other electronic documents.”

Snap told the court in the filing that the subpoenas should be quashed because they are “overbroad and unduly burdensome.” Meta is seeking “documents from almost every department at the company, relating to every single one of Snap’s products and nearly every aspect of its business,” Snap said.

“Not only would the burden on Snap of complying with these subpoenas be crushing, but it would further harm the competitive landscape for Snap to have to turn over these competitively sensitive documents to Meta,” a Snap spokesperson said. “The burden of forcing Snap to comply with these subpoenas, and the intrusion into Snap’s strategic decision making, are not justified, and Snap is confident the Court will take appropriate action to protect Snap from this overreach.”

“The subpoena we served on Snap is standard procedure in civil antitrust litigation,” Stephen Peters, a spokesperson for Meta, said in an email. “Snap is one of the many companies against which Meta competes every day -- and is one of just two currently operating companies the FTC itself claims is a Meta competitor within the commission’s fictional market definition. The information sought by this subpoena is important to the preparation of Meta’s defense against the FTC’s meritless case.”

The case is Meta Platforms v Snap, 2:22-mc-00146, US District Court for the Central District of California.

(Updates with comment from Snap)

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