A U.S. district court has given its green light to The Federal Trade Commission to proceed with an antitrust lawsuit against Meta Platforms (FB). After being rejected once, the FTC filed an amended complaint in August 2021.
The amended complaint includes more details on the company’s monopoly power allegations. Also, it provides evidence that Meta controlled prices, sacrificed the quality of its offering to users and excluded competition by driving actual or potential competitors out of business, such as the acquisitions of WhatsApp and Instagram.
“Facebook lacked the business acumen and technical talent to survive the transition to mobile. After failing to compete with new innovators, Facebook illegally bought or buried them when their popularity became an existential threat,” said, Holly Vedova, the Acting Director of FTC Bureau of Competition.
U.S. District Judge James E. Boasberg said, “Although the agency may well face a tall task down the road in proving its allegations, the Court believes that it has now cleared the pleading bar and may proceed to discovery.”
The judge has asked Meta to revert to the FTC’s complaint with an answer by January 25.
The company’s EPS for the fourth quarter of 2021 is estimated to reach $3.85. FB earnings have surpassed estimates in all the quarters since the second quarter of 2020. Given the impressive demand for Meta’s products and earnings surprise history, the company is expected to beat estimates again in the fourth quarter.
Overall, the analysts are bullish on the stock and have a Strong Buy consensus rating based on 27 Buys and 5 Holds.
TipRanks’ Website Traffic tool, which uses data from SEMrush Holdings (SEMR), the world’s biggest website usage monitoring service, offers insight into Meta’s performance.
According to the tool, the Meta website recorded an 8.4% monthly increase in global unique visits in December, compared to the previous year. Likewise, the website traffic has grown 8.7% year-to-date against the same period last year.
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