Shares of social media giant Facebook touched $1 trillion market valuation after a federal judge dismissed a long-running complaint filed against it by The Federal Trade Commission and a large coalition of state attorneys generals.
In December 2020, the US government and 48 states and districts sued Facebook, accusing it of abusing its market position in social networking to destroy smaller competitors and seeking remedies that might include a forced spin-off of Facebook’s Instagram and WhatsApp messaging services.
However, US District Judge James Boasberg concluded on Monday that the claims were “legally deficient” and lacked sufficient evidence to establish that Facebook has a monopoly on social networking. The complaint was dismissed, but not the case, so the FTC could file another lawsuit within 30 days.
“The FTC has failed in submitting any proof for the allegations and even doesn’t include any real figure for Facebook’s market share at any point in the last decade. So, the case is ultimately overruled,” said the Judge.
Following the judgment, the Facebook stock surged to its highest intraday increase in two months. The social media company’s stock increased by as much as 4.4 percent, its highest level since April 29.
According to the FTC, Facebook used a “systematic plan” to remove competition, including buying smaller up-and-coming rivals like Instagram in 2012 and WhatsApp in 2014.
“We are delighted that the decisions highlight the flaws in the government allegations filed against us. Every day, we compete fairly for people’s time and attention, and we will continue to provide excellent products to the people and businesses who utilize our services,” Facebook said in a statement.
Nearly three years after Apple became the first US business to hit the $1 trillion mark, Microsoft, Amazon, and Google parent Alphabet are now among the four US technology corporations with 13-digit values. Last week, Microsoft surpassed the $2 trillion mark.
Facebook, which Mark Zuckerberg co-founded in 2004 at Harvard University, is the youngest of them all to reach the mark, arriving at $1tn in 17 years.