Facebook has been under pressure from antitrust investigators in USA for around 3 years now, due to its strategy of buying up the competition, thereby increasing its monopoly and reducing choice in the market.
The Federal Trade Commission and a large number of state attorneys general have taken Facebook to court in an attempt to de-integrate the company and its properties, but that effort has just suffered a blow, after U.S. District Judge James Boasberg threw out the case.
The effort stumbled on the first hurdle, as Boasberg said the prosecution could not explain how they determined that Facebook controls more than 60 percent of the social networking market.
Social networking “services are free to use, and the exact metes and bounds of what even constitutes a [social networking] — i.e., which features of a company’s mobile app or website are included in that definition and which are excluded — are hardly crystal clear,” Boasberg ruled. “The FTC’s inability to offer any indication of the metric(s) or method(s) it used to calculate Facebook’s market share renders its vague ‘60%-plus’ assertion too speculative and conclusory to go forward.”
He also said that state attorneys general waited too long to challenge Facebook’s 2012 Instagram purchase and the 2014 acquisition of WhatsApp.
Boasberg has however given state and federal prosecutors 30 days to file new antitrust complaints that address his concerns.
Facebook has combined 2.5 billion people on their 3 messaging platforms. The company’s share price rose 4.5% on the news, making it a $1 trillion company for the first time.