Judge Dismisses FTC’s Antitrust Cases Against Facebook


A federal court dismissed two lawsuits from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and more than 40 states against Facebook.

And Facebook shares up immediately rocketed by 4.2%. The company’s market value now tops $1 trillion — for the first time.

Judge James Boasberg of the US District Court for the District of Columbia wrote in his opinion that the FTC “failed to plead enough facts to plausibly establish … that Facebook (FB) has monopoly power in the market for Personal Social Networking (PSN) Services.”

The FTC accused Facebook of monopolizing the industry.

However, according to Boasberg, the FTC did not do enough to prove its contention that Facebook holds a “60%-plus” share of the social media market and violating anti-monopoly laws.

“This really stings,” said William E. Kovacic, a former chairman of the Federal Trade Commission said per NY Times. “This is a reminder to those who have wanted a dramatic, sweeping litigation campaign to take on Big Tech that there’s nothing easy about it, because the courts have a different view of the antitrust system.”

Politicians are also calling for extensive reform.

“Today’s development in the FTC’s case against Facebook shows that antitrust reform is urgently needed,” Rep. Ken Buck, a leading Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, tweeted. “Congress needs to provide additional tools and resources to our antitrust enforcers to go after Big Tech companies engaging in anticompetitive conduct.”

Facebook reveled in its recent victory.

“We are pleased that today’s decisions recognize the defects in the government complaints filed against Facebook. We compete fairly every day to earn people’s time and attention and will continue to deliver great products for the people and businesses that use our services,” Christopher Sgro, a spokesman for Facebook, said.

But the win could be short-lived. The judge has given the FTC 30 days to refile the lawsuits.

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