Global tech giant, Facebook‘s market value has crossed the $1 trillion mark after winning a court victory against US regulators.
Facebook’s shares surged by 4.2% after a federal court dismissed two lawsuits brought against the company by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and a coalition of states.
The FTC had accused Facebook of stifling competition. But Judge James Boasberg of the US District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that the suit was “legally insufficient”. He added that the FTC “failed to plead enough facts” to back its claim.
The FTC lawsuit had asked the court to break up Facebook, which also owns Instagram and Whatsapp.
“The FTC’s complaint says almost nothing concrete on the key question of how much power Facebook actually had, and still has, in a properly defined anti-trust product market,” says Judge Boasberg.
“It is almost as if the agency expects the court to simply nod to the conventional wisdom that Facebook is a monopolist.”
A separate anti-competition lawsuit filed against Facebook by a group of 46 states was also thrashed by Judge Boasberg. The coalition also asked the court to force Facebook to divest Instagram and WhatsApp which the company acquired in 2012 and 2014 respectively.
But Judge Boasberg ruled that the states did not provide “a reasonable justification” for why they did not sue Facebook since the acquisition took place six to eight years ago.
The Judge noted that the states failed to provide “a factual dispute” and that they only gave a “half-hearted contention that Facebook was not prejudiced but rather ‘benefitted from the states not filing sooner.’
“Ultimately, this anti-trust action is premised on public, high-profile conduct, nearly all of which occurred over six years ago – before the launch of the Apple Watch or Alexa or Periscope, when Kevin Durant still played for the Oklahoma City Thunder and when Ebola was the virus dominating headlines,” Judge Boasberg said.
According to him, the states could have easily filed the lawsuit between 2012 and 2014.
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