Boasberg wrote that the FTC had not done enough to support the assertion that Facebook holds a “60%-plus” stake in the social media market.
Facebook shares ended Monday surging more than 4 percent on the news, pushing the company’s market capitalization above $1trillion for the first time.
The FTC has accused Facebook of violating the country’s antitrust laws by acquiring startups such as Instagram, which it sees as a threat of domination and prevents others from connecting to Facebook’s services.
The FTC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The decision was a failure for antitrust regulators to ask the company to break up. But as the judge dismissed the FTC’s petition, he declined to dismiss the case as a whole. It said issues with the FTC’s lawsuit could be resolved if the agency filed a remedial complaint.
The Boasberg ruling – a break for Facebook amid ongoing scrutiny from regulators around the world – prompted Congress to immediately revise the country’s antitrust laws.
Critics of Facebook, including lawmakers in a groundbreaking report last summer, accused Facebook of targeting small start-ups like Instagram early in the lifecycle of those companies. By believing they pose a threat to Facebook’s power, a tactic known as The “buy-or-bury” is allegedly helping Facebook maintain its status as a leading social networking company.
“We are reviewing this decision and considering our legal options,” said New York Attorney General Letitia James, one of the state’s top AGs in the case.
In their lawsuit, the state and the FTC also accused Facebook of being anti-competitive by denying rival apps access to the social media giant’s platform. Boasberg wrote in Monday’s comments that there was nothing illegal about Facebook at There is a policy to prevent interoperability with third-party apps. He acknowledged that although Facebook may have violated antitrust laws in its policy action But the prosecution was too late to enforce.