Facebook May Face FTC Antitrust Probe – Report

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is preparing to file antitrust charges against social media giant Facebook by the end of this year, according to a Wall Street Journal report. Shares of Facebook are down 1.5% in pre-market trading.

According to the report, the FTC is readying to file a possible antitrust lawsuit against Facebook (FB), “in a case that would challenge the company’s dominant position in social media”. The FTC has been investigating Facebook for more than a year over concerns that the social media platform “has been using its powerful market position to stifle competition”. However, no final decision has been made, the report said.

Last year, the FTC imposed a $5 billion penalty against Facebook for privacy violations. Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg was also questioned for two days by FTC officials as part of the antitrust probe. (See FB stock analysis on TipRanks).

On Aug. 31, Tigress Financial analyst Ivan Feinseth reiterated a Buy rating on the stock. Feinseth said “We reiterate our Strong Buy rating as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to highlight the importance of FB’s social media platform, and the company continues to drive growth through ongoing innovation and platform expansion into e-commerce and more interactive application capabilities.”

The rest of the Street is in line with Feinseth’s bullish outlook on the stock. The Strong Buy analyst consensus is based on 31 Buys, 4 Holds, and 1 Sell. The average price target of $294.31 implies upside potential of over 8% to current levels. Shares have gained 32.7% year-to-date.

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