Facebook won a key battle, but not the war, in federal court on Monday. A judge dismissed the FTC’s antitrust complaint against FB by “saying the agency had failed to provide evidence for its claim that the social media giant holds a monopoly in social networking,” Brian Fung reported for CNN Business.

But the judge, James Boasberg, also signaled that “the issues with the FTC’s lawsuit could be addressed if the agency filed an amended complaint.” The FTC said it is “determining” next steps. Lawmakers in both parties said antitrust reform is urgently needed.

Facebook won a victory but the war against Big Tech is far from over

“In a separate decision,” Fung wrote, “Boasberg dismissed entirely a similar antitrust suit against Facebook brought by dozens of state governments, saying they waited too long to challenge Facebook’s Instagram and WhatsApp acquisitions, which were completed in 2012 and 2014, respectively…”

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North Carolina was among the states that sued Facebook. However, Reuters reported last week that a new suit – including North Carolina – could be filed in federal court this week.

The suit is likely to be similar to an antitrust suit filed by Cary-based Epic Games against tech giant Apple over procedures and requirements at its App Store, Reuters noted. The Google action is expected to be filed as soon as next week in a federal court in norhtern California.

“The investigation by the state attorneys general is being led by Utah, Tennessee, North Carolina and New York. It is unclear how many states will participate,” Reuters said.

The North Carolina AG’s office declined comment.

Facebook joins the $1 trillion club

In the immediate wake of Boasberg dismissing the FTC case, Facebook “joined the ranks of companies valued over a trillion dollars as of today’s market close,” The Verge’s Mitchell Clark noted. This makes Facebook “the fifth U.S. company to surpass the feat, joining the likes of Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Google parent Alphabet,” USA Today’s Jessica Menton wrote…

Politico tech lobbying/influence reporter Emily Birnbaum tweeted: “So weird & wild that i have been covering the top tech companies in the world for years and have never once experienced the government actually punish, regulate or even significantly change the practices of any of them. Crazy how power works!”

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