Facebook has now joined the ranks of trillion-dollar companies, alongside the only other companies to reach such a market capitalization, Apple, Amazon, Alphabet, and Microsoft.
Based on Facebook's stock price on Monday, which closed up 4.2% at $355.64, the company now has a $1 trillion market capitalization. Apple was the first company to reach this milestone in mid-2018, and in August 2020, Apple became the first ever to hit a market cap of $2 trillion. Microsoft hit the $1 trillion mark in 2019, Alphabet joined them in mid-January 2020, and Amazon made it in later that month.
As CNBC reports, Facebook made it over the $1 trillion hump thanks to a favorable legal ruling announced Monday morning — a federal judge dismissed the FTC's antitrust complaint against Facebook that was filed in December. The agency joined in the complaint alongside 48 states' attorneys contending that Facebook had systematically tried to stifle competition — particularly with its acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp in 2012 and 2014.
Despite owning three of the biggest properties in the social media industry, the court ruled that the government failed to provide evidence that Facebook holds monopoly power when it comes to social media.
"Although the Court does not agree with all of Facebook’s contentions here, it ultimately concurs that the agency’s Complaint is legally insufficient and must therefore be dismissed," reads the filing from U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
In a statement, the company said it was "pleased" with the decision. "We compete fairly every day to earn people’s time and attention and will continue to deliver great products for the people and businesses that use our services," Facebook says.
This lawsuit is one of several still hanging over Facebook, but was perhaps the biggest and broadest one. Trump's Department of Justice also filed suit against Facebook during the final month of the ex-president's tenure, in December 2020, claiming the company discriminates against American workers in its hiring practices.
In 2019, Facebook was fined $5 billion by the FTC over its data privacy blunders in a record-breaking fine that ultimately was a slap on the wrist to a company with Facebook's cash.
Facebook also faces antitrust inquiries in the EU, and it remains to be seen if this Congress will pursue any of its threatened efforts to regulate the company.
The parallel case brought by the states dates back over two years, and today's dismissal is a significant blow to that bipartisan effort to punish the social media giant for its perceived corporate misdeeds. The court dismissed that case entirely saying, in part, that too many years had passed between the acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp and the states' legal filing in 2020.
New York Attorney General Letitia James, who had led the legal effort, said in a statement, "We are reviewing this decision and considering our legal options."
Photo by KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP via Getty Images