US judge throws out Facebook anti-trust lawsuits

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woman using her smartphone (mobile device) under a Facebook logoA US federal court has dismissed two separate anti-trust lawsuits filed against Facebook.

Judge James Boasberg ruled that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)’s anti-trust complaint against the social networking giant was too vague. Another separate anti-competition lawsuit filed by a coalition of states was thrown out because the alleged violations occurred too long ago.

Facebook’s shares jumped 4.2% to $355.64 on the news.

This resulted in the social networking giant’s market value rising above $1tn (£720bn) for the first time ever. In the US District Court for the District of Columbia ruling, Judge Boasberg wrote that the FTC’s complaint was “legally insufficient” and had to be dismissed, because the FTC had “failed to plead enough facts” to back up its claim that Facebook was stifling competition. The FTC’s lawsuit had requested that the technology giant, which also owns Instagram and WhatsApp, be broken up.

“The FTC’s complaint says almost nothing concrete on the key question of how much power Facebook actually had, and still has, in a properly defined anti-trust product market,” wrote Judge Boasberg.

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