Facebook (NASDAQ:FB)’s market capitalization surpassed $1 trillion on Monday after a Washington judge dismissed monopoly charges against the company, brought by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and a group of 46 states. Facebook shares jumped 4.2% to 355.64 by the end of the session.
Monopoly allegations dismissed
U.S. District Judge James E. Boasberg of the District of Columbia ruled the monopoly allegations against Facebook by the FTC as “insufficient,” hence dismissing the claims. The antitrust lawsuit was brought against the company to order it to sell both WhatsApp and Instagram.
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“The FTC has failed to plead enough facts to plausibly establish a necessary element of all of its Section 2 claims ––namely, that Facebook has monopoly power in the market for Personal Social Networking (PSN) Services,” he wrote in his ruling.
With his decision, Boasberg agrees with Facebook’s allegations in March that the FTC could not clearly establish the market that Zuckerberg’s company had allegedly monopolized.
However, there is plenty of rounds to come as Boasberg struck down the monopoly suit but did not dismiss the case entirely, by compelling the FTC to amend its complaint and bring back corrected allegations back to the court.
Similarly, as informed by NBC News, the case brought by the 46 states that challenged Facebook’s WhatsApp and Instagram acquisitions was also discharged since they took place too long before – in 2014 and 2012, respectively – and the allegations were presented in December 2020.
Big Five watching closely
The decision arrives after the U.S. bill against the Big Five monopoly passed the House Judiciary Committee vote last week, on the grounds of unfair competition. Besides Facebook, the vote comprised Amazon Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN), Google – Alphabet Inc Class A (NASDAQ:GOOGL), Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL), and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT).
Seen as an initiative to clamp down on these companies' market superpowers, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stated that the legislation, “attempts to address that [parties concern] in the interest of fairness, in the interest of competition, and the interest of meeting the needs of people whose privacy, whose data and all the rest is at the mercy of these tech companies.”
Following the House session, Google and Amazon accused lawmakers of “harming small businesses” with the bill, by preventing them from operating popular consumer services, as reported by CNBC.
Google, Facebook, and Amazon are part of the Entrepreneur Index, which tracks 60 of the largest publicly traded companies managed by their founders or their founders’ families.