Facebook hits $1 trillion after antitrust ruling

A U.S. judge on Monday dismissed federal and state antitrust lawsuits against Facebook that sought to force the social media company to sell Instagram and WhatsApp.

Facebook shares rose more than 4% after the ruling was issued, putting Facebook's market cap over $1 trillion for the first time.

The dismissal was the first major blow to state and federal lawsuits filed last year, aimed at reining in alleged abuses of the massive market power wielded by Big Tech companies.

The judge also dismissed a lawsuit filed by multiple U.S. states in December, saying that they had waited too long and could not challenge acquisitions from so long ago.

The FTC and several states filed separate lawsuits last year that accused Facebook of breaking antitrust law to keep smaller competitors at bay by snapping up rivals, including the 2012 acquisition of Instagram for $1 billion and of WhatsApp in 2014 for $19 billion.

The judge said the FTC had failed to show that Facebook had monopoly power in the social-networking market, but he said the court did "not agree with all of Facebook's contentions," adding that the agency was "on firmer ground in scrutinizing the acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp."

The judge said the FTC could file a new complaint by July 29.

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