A judge has dismissed two antitrust lawsuits against Facebook, one filed by the Federal Trade Commission and the other by a coalition of U.S. states, giving a significant blow to regulators and sending the company’s stock price up. at record levels.
In a statement Monday, dismissing the FTC’s complaint, Judge James Boasberg in Washington DC’s federal district court said the agency’s lawsuit was “legally insufficient.”
In particular, the judge found that the FTC had “failed to invoke enough facts to establish plausibly” that Facebook had the monopoly power over the market for personal social networking services.
However, the judge said the FTC would have 30 days to file a new complaint if it wanted to.
On the contrary, Boasberg has ruled out a similar case being pursued by a group of 46 states and two other jurisdictions – led by New York Attorney General Letitia James – on the grounds that any alleged violation occurred too long ago.
The judgment makes a big return to regulators, which in December accused the company’s anti-competitive behavior, strategically comprehending the acquisition of rivals who threatened its monopoly power and cutting off services to squeeze rival developers.
At the time, the FTC said it was looking for penalties, including a forced Facebook break from Instagram and WhatsApp, purchases it made in 2012 and 2014 respectively.
Facebook’s stock price jumped more than 4 percent on the news to a high of $ 357.36, surpassing the market capitalization of $ 1 ton for the first time.
Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.