Facebook's Legal Battles Could Provide Upside

Despite the Federal Trade Commission and 47 states filing separate antitrust suits, we are maintaining our FVE

Ali Mogharabi 10 December, 2020 | 12:26PM

Facebook Protests

The Federal Trade Commission and 47 states have filed separate antitrust suits against Facebook. The FTC claims Facebook has illegally attained market power through the acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp and is requesting that the courts order Facebook to spin off those businesses. The FTC also wants to restrain Facebook from making acquisitions in the future. We expect the courts to side with the FTC regarding limitations on future acquisitions, but we think the likelihood of a forced breakup is low. In addition, competition for Facebook continues to emerge. Even if Facebook is forced to spin off Instagram and WhatsApp, its shareholders may ultimately benefit; we estimate that the three companies could fetch more than our US$306 fair value estimate for Facebook if valued separately.

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Ali Mogharabi

Ali Mogharabi  Ali Mogharabi is a senior equity analyst for Morningstar.

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