But Yates disagreed. He wrote it was “strange” and “unfortunate” that Meta did not tell the court more about the status of the WA litigation or its plans there. And, Yates added, if Meta’s view that the state proceedings were outside of jurisdiction was “of substance, then it undermines the basis of Meta’s” argument for documents to be kept secret in the interim.
He concluded that there had already been numerous news reports about the issue of scams on Facebook, that the ACCC’s public claims were cast as allegations only, and its language was not emotive or inflammatory. Any jury members would also be told to disregard press coverage, Yates said.
Yates decided to restrict the publication of a lawyer’s statement but declined to do the same for other court documents, with that decision released on Friday. But Meta has applied for fresh orders, causing some documents to remain confidential, which the court will rule on in coming months.
“Friday’s appearance was a routine hearing to discuss process,” a Meta spokeswoman said. “We requested the court consider pausing this case while Meta is before the court on another case, to which the court agreed. As the matter is before the Federal Court, we are unable to discuss any details, but we intend to defend ourselves against these claims.”
An ACCC spokeswoman said the commission was unable to comment, citing its policy on ongoing litigation. Forrest’s office was contacted for comment.
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