Facebook's value reaches 1 trillion $ after judge threw out antitrust lawsuits

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Shares of Facebook rose more than 4% after the ruling was issued. Rising stock prices put Facebook's market capitalization above $ 1 trillion for the first time.

A United States judge dismissed federal and state antitrust lawsuits against Facebook Inc that sought to force the social media company to sell Instagram and WhatsApp.

Shares of Facebook rose more than 4% after the ruling was issued. Rising stock prices put Facebook's market capitalization above $ 1 trillion for the first time.

Judge James Boasberg of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia said the FTC had not shown that Facebook had monopoly power in the social media market.

The judge said the FTC could file a new complaint before July 29. Facebook had asked that the lawsuits, which were filed last year, be dismissed.

Regarding the FTC's complaint, the judge wrote: "Although the court does not agree with all of Facebook's arguments here, it ultimately agrees that the agency's complaint is legally insufficient and therefore should be dismissed. "

A bright spot for the FTC in the opinion was the judge's saying that the agency was "on firmer ground in scrutinizing the acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp, as the court rejects the Facebook argument that the FTC lacks authority to seek injunctive relief against those purchases."

A Facebook spokesperson said: "We are pleased that today's decisions recognize the defects in the government complaints filed against Facebook." The FTC did immediately respond to a request for comment.

Republican Sen. Josh Hawley criticized the court's decision on the FTC's lawsuit as "deeply disappointing."

The FTC and a large group of states filed separate lawsuits last year that accused Facebook of violating antitrust law to keep smaller competitors at bay by taking over rivals, such as its 2012 $ 1 billion acquisition of Instagram. and WhatsApp in 2014 $ 19 billion.

In total, the federal government and states filed five lawsuits against Alphabet Inc's Facebook and Google last year following bipartisan outrage over the use and misuse of social media influence in both the economy and the political sphere.

The judge said the FTC did not adequately support his claim that Facebook has more than 60 percent of the market.

"Because this defect could conceivably be overcome by re-pleading, however, the Court will dismiss only the Complaint, not the case, and will do so without prejudice to allow Plaintiff to file an amended complaint," the judge wrote.

The judge also criticized parts of the FTC's case regarding its refusal to allow interoperability permissions with competing apps.

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