(Bloomberg) -- The US Federal Trade Commission can move forward with revisions to Meta Platforms Inc.’s 2020 privacy settlement after a judge denied the social network’s bid to force the agency into court.
US District Judge Timothy Kelly in Washington ruled Monday that the federal court didn’t have jurisdiction over the FTC settlement with the parent company of Facebook and Instagram.
Meta shares fell as much as 1.2% to $334.35 on the news. The company said it was considering legal options and opposes the FTC’s efforts to amend the deal.
“Today’s decision does not address the substance of the FTC’s allegations, which are without merit,” Meta spokesperson Christopher Sgro said. “We will continue to invest in our privacy program and remain focused on protecting people’s privacy.”
The FTC declined to comment.
Under the 2020 deal, Meta agreed to pay a $5 billion fine — the largest ever imposed for a privacy violation — and make changes to its internal privacy checks, including increased responsibility for the company’s board and CEO Mark Zuckerberg to protect user data.
In May, the FTC said Meta has repeatedly violated its privacy promises and opened an internal proceeding to modify the 2020 settlement. The agency said it would seek to change the earlier settlement to ban Meta’s use of facial recognition tools or monetizing children’s data.
Weeks later, Meta petitioned Kelly — who had approved part of the settlement before it was finalized — to bar the agency from moving forward in-house and to instead file a case in federal court.
“The parties here are sophisticated ones that, at least in theory, could have proceeded differently,” Kelly wrote. “They didn’t. And the court may not rewrite the parties’ agreement to make it so.”
(Updates with Meta, FTC reaction beginning in fourth paragraph.)
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