Facebook hits $1 trillion value after judge rejects antitrust complaints
23:30, Tuesday, 29 June, 2021
A U.S. judge on Monday dismissed federal and state antitrust complaints against Facebook Inc (FB.O) that sought to force the social media company to sell Instagram and WhatsApp, saying the federal complaint was "legally insufficient."
Facebook shares rose more than 4% after the ruling. The share price rise put Facebook's market capitalization over $1 trillion for the first time.
The dismissal was the first big blow to state and federal lawsuits against Big Tech firms last year seeking to rein in alleged abuses of their massive market power.
Judge James Boasberg of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia said the FTC failed to show that Facebook had monopoly power in the social-networking market but said the FTC could file a new complaint by July 29. He also dismissed a lawsuit by multiple U.S. states, saying they waited too long to challenge the acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp in 2012 and 2014 respectively. The judge did not invite the states to refile their complaint.
A spokesperson for the New York Attorney General’s office said it was "considering our legal options."
Facebook had asked for the lawsuits to be dismissed.
Regarding the FTC lawsuit, the judge wrote: "Although the court does not agree with all of Facebook's contentions here, it ultimately concurs that the agency's complaint is legally insufficient and must therefore be dismissed."