A judge dismissed two antitrust lawsuits against Facebook, one filed by the Federal Trade Commission and the other filed by the U.S. Union of States, which dealt a major blow to regulators and pushed the company’s share price to a record Level.
In dismissing the FTC complaint on Monday, Judge James Boasberg of the Federal District Court in Washington, DC said that the agency’s litigation was “not legally inadequate.”
In particular, the judge found that the Federal Trade Commission “failed to present enough facts to reasonably prove” that Facebook has a monopoly on the personal social networking service market.
However, the judge stated that if the FTC is willing, it will have 30 days to file a new complaint.
In contrast, Boasberg completely dismissed similar cases brought by 46 states and two other jurisdictions (led by the New York Attorney General Letitia James) on the grounds that any suspected violations occurred long ago .
The judgment brought a huge setback to the regulators. They defendant Anti-competitive companies include strategically acquiring competitors that threaten their monopoly power, and developers who cut off services to squeeze competitors.
The US Federal Trade Commission said at the time that it was seeking penalties, including the forced separation of Facebook from Instagram and WhatsApp, as well as acquisitions in 2012 and 2014.
After the news, Facebook’s stock price rose by more than 4%, reaching a high of US$357.36, and its market value exceeded US$1 trillion for the first time.
Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.