The market value of Facebook shares exceeded one trillion dollars for the first time, after a court ruling in favor of the tech and social media giant against US regulators.
Two lawsuits from the Federal Trade Commission and a coalition of states were dismissed by a federal court, sending Facebook shares up 4.2 percent.
This raised the value of Facebook above a trillion dollars, making it the latest technology company “Big Five” to achieve this feat.
The two lawsuits accused Facebook of restricting competitors.
But Judge James Boasberg ruled that the FTC’s complaint against the social networking giant’s monopoly was too vague.
Another separate competitiveness suit, brought by a group of 45 states alongside the commission, was dismissed because the alleged violations occurred too long ago.
In the ruling, Judge Boasberg wrote that the FTC’s complaint was “legally insufficient” and should be dismissed, because the FTC “failed to advance sufficient facts” to support its claim that Facebook suppresses competition.
The lawsuit brought by the Federal Trade Commission had requested the dissolution of the tech giant, which also owns Instagram and WhatsApp.
“The FTC’s complaint says almost nothing concrete about the key question of how much power Facebook actually has, and continues to have, in a particular antitrust market,” the judge said.
“It is as if the agency is simply expecting from the court a nod of agreement to the conventional wisdom that Facebook has a monopoly,” he added.
While this is a setback for the Federal Trade Commission, which some analysts say could have repercussions for the future of US anti-competition law, the watchdog could re-file the lawsuit, and it has until July 28 to do so.
Investors saw this as an important victory for Facebook, which led to a rise in the share price. Other tech giants, Apple and Alphabet, the owners of Google, Microsoft and Amazon, have already surpassed $1 trillion in valuations.
“Non Act something in half a decade”
Separately, Judge Boasberg also dismissed a competition lawsuit brought by a coalition of 45 US states with the Federal Trade Commission.
The lawsuit also sought to force Facebook to relinquish ownership of Instagram and WhatsApp. It is related to Facebook’s acquisition of the two applications in 2012 and 2014.
In March, Facebook petitioned the US Federal Court to dismiss the lawsuit, calling the FTC’s complaint “unreasonable”.
The company said the FTC case “ignores the reality of the hyper-dynamic technology industry and the intense competition in which Facebook operates”.
In his ruling in the case, Judge Boasberg said the states did not provide a “reasonable justification” for why they waited six to eight years for a decision to sue Facebook – an argument the social networking giant had previously made.
He added that states had not made “factual arguments” and made only “a lukewarm claim that Facebook was not biased but (benefited that states did not file the complaint earlier) that it was and remains a very profitable company”.
He noted that the states’ claims made it easier to sue between 2012 and 2014, adding: “The antitrust enforcement system that Congress has instituted does not absolve the plaintiffs here of[the consequences of their choosing]to do nothing for the past half-decade.”