In the Face(b,ooo,ooo,ooo,k) of success
Most of us have heard of the elite group called FAANG, but now in that elite group is an odd one out. Interestingly, there’s another elite group FAAMG brewing up with behemoths who are members of the 4 Comma Club i.e. have hit the Trillion Dollar market capitalization (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft and Google).
On Monday, Facebook for the first time closed above USD 1 trillion market capitalization. This happened because of the 4.2% rally in response to a favourable legal ruling on the antitrust complaint that the US FTC had filed along with a coalition of state attorney generals of 48 states. Had FTC won, Facebook might have had to divest Instagram and WhatsApp.
Is it really a monopoly?
FTC had sued the company last December, arguing that Facebook engaged in a systematic strategy to eliminate threats to its monopoly. This includes the 2012 and 2014 acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp, respectively, which the FTC previously cleared. The Judge dismissed the case calling it legally insufficient and that the FTC did not provide enough detailed data to prove that Facebook is a monopoly in the loosely defined market for personal social networking.
So far Facebook has done over 90 acquisitions but three particularly stand out and have helped Facebook in turbocharging their offerings to claim their users’ valuable time and thus, attract the bulk of their USD 85 billion-plus revenue.
WhatsApp, Instagram and Oculus have been its largest and most notable acquisitions and it’s no hidden secret that Zuckerberg has also aggressively tried to acquire Twitter and Snapchat. Going forward, the watchdog i.e. the FTC (CCI equivalent in the US) will not play ball.