A US federal court ruled on Tuesday that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) can proceed with its antitrust lawsuit against Facebook.

The court’s decision to deny Facebook’s motion to dismiss the case is considered a major hurdle for the tech giant, which stands accused of leveraging its size to control the social media sphere.

The FTC had launched a previous antitrust suit against Facebook which was dismissed in June 2021, with the US District Court for the District of Columbia quashing the case due to the FTC failing to prove that “Facebook has monopoly power in the market for Personal Social Networking services.”

However, that ruling “left the door ajar” for the agency to amend their case and have it reinstated.

In the agency’s second suit, US District Judge James Boasberg wrote that the FTC’s argument was “far more robust and detailed than before."

"The FTC has now alleged enough facts to plausibly establish that Facebook exercises monopoly power," he added.

Boasberg wrote that the agency’s claims about Facebook’s marketplace behavior were adequate enough to warrant the case proceeding. But he said that the FTC will have a “tall task” in proving its case.

Facebook told the Washington Examiner: "We’re confident the evidence will reveal the fundamental weakness of the claims. Our investments in Instagram and WhatsApp transformed them into what they are today."