Facebook avoided an antitrust case in the US and now the company is worth $1 trillion
The only thing I’m anti-trusting is Facebook.
Facebook dodged two antitrust lawsuits in federal court this week on the way to becoming the fifth company in US history to gain a trillion-dollar valuation. It’s the youngest company to reach that valuation, with its stock trading at 4.2% higher after the complaints were quashed by a federal judge.
US District Judge James Boasberg in Washington ruled in favor of Facebook in both lawsuits. The first, brought by the FTC, was alleging Facebook has a virtual monopoly on the social networking market. Apparently, 60% of the market isn’t enough to get ruled as monopolistic, but maybe the FTC can rethink its strategy and refile.
Part of the ruling focused on the definitions of “social networking” and the lack of the FTC showing its work to get to the “60%-plus” figure. Sheesh, we knew we had to show our work in grade school, so what gives?
The other lawsuit dismissed by the same judge was brought by 46 states, which objected to Facebook’s purchases of Instagram and WhatsApp. Apparently buying your rivals to stifle innovation is okay, as long as nobody complains at the time. The judge dismissed the suit because of the length of time it took for the states to get their act together and file.
I doubt we’ve seen the last of these two lawsuits, as Big Tech companies like Facebook are in the firing line of legislators and regulators across the world. These dismissals do show one thing though – bring your A-game when you go up against Facebook, as a trillion dollars buys a heck of a lot of lawyers.
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