Last Updated: January 18, 2022
June 28 marked Facebook’s ascension into the $1 trillion club, joining the likes of Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, and Alphabet. As reported by The Verge, other than its groundbreaking valuation, the tech giant has also made history for being the youngest member on the list—it’s the only company founded in the 2000s.
What started out as an innocent project by Harvard alumnus Mark Zuckerberg in 2004 has now become a social media phenomenon boasting over 2.85 billion active users, most of which are between 18 and 44 years old. In recent years, however, the platform is also actively used by businesses as a way of reaching a wider audience.
Over the years, Facebook, Inc. has developed multiple successful subsidiaries while running the world’s most popular social media platform. Some examples are Instagram, WhatsApp, Oculus VR, and Facebook Messenger, whose userbase is expected to grow to 2.4 billion this year.
Facebook’s Big Win Comes After Dismissal of FTC Case
Although Facebook is a hugely successful company, the push to its $1 trillion valuation happened as a result of the Federal Trade Commission’s case against the company being dismissed due to a lack of evidence.
The FTC, as well as a coalition of several states, sued Facebook in December, accusing it of breaking antitrust laws and monopolization “to crush smaller rivals and snuff out competition, all at the expense of everyday users,” according to New York attorney general, Letitia James. Examples of this behavior are Facebook’s purchase of Instagram (in 2012) and WhatsApp (in 2014)—two of the up-and-coming threats of the platform.
However, Judge James Boasberg of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia dismissed the lawsuits. As a response to the FTC’s complaint, he said, “These allegations—which do not even provide an estimated actual figure or range for Facebook’s market share at any point over the past 10 years—ultimately fall short of plausibly establishing that Facebook holds market power.”
The suit filed by the states was also dismissed, as the judge considered that too much time had passed since the acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp.
In an e-mail statement to the Associated Press, a Facebook spokesperson said, “We are pleased that today’s decisions recognize the defects in the government complaints filed against Facebook. 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.”
This wasn’t the only win of the day for Facebook, as, prompted by the judge’s favorable decision, its shares jumped up 4%, taking the company to a home run—a market valuation of $1 trillion.
All hope is not lost for those dissatisfied with the outcome, as the FTC has been given a chance to file a new complaint by July 29. Facebook is safe (for now, at least), but if the FTC uses this time to regroup and take the judge’s notes into account for its refiling, a historic verdict can potentially be achieved—one that jumpstarts a more rigorous regulation policy for Big Tech.