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Alphabet, Facebook Shares Soar Despite Regulator Scrutiny

Google parent company Alphabet and Facebook, despite a number of looming competition and antitrust investigations for both companies from U.S. government agencies, closed out at high share prices on Monday (Jan. 6), according to CNBC.

Alphabet was up 2.7 percent to $1,397.81 per share — a market cap of $964 billion. Facebook was up 1.9 percent, and closed at $212.60 per share, bringing the company’s worth to $606.3 billion, just shy of the all-time high of $218.62 per share in July 2018.

Fifty attorneys general have been investigating Google since September. The investigation is progressing, and will expand into Google’s search and Android businesses. When it comes to Facebook, 47 attorneys general announced an investigation in September as well, which sent Facebook’s stock down almost 4 percent.

The new highs, however, may signal that investors are — so far — unconcerned with the investigations. Last month, Google CEO and Co-founder Larry Page gave up his CEO job to Sundar Pichai, the former CEO of Google.

Pivotal Research Group Senior Analyst Michael Levine upgraded the stock to a buy rating, but said that regulatory concerns were definitely an issue to watch. He added that, as the company continues to diversify itself, those issues become a lesser concern.

“We are not minimizing the regulatory risk, but Doubleclick [and] ad-tech stack revenues are predominantly related to GOOG networks,” he said. “To the extent the government pursues an antitrust case, we think GOOG would be well-served to offer up some easy concessions.”

Levine said that the company faced a number of risks this year, and that “prospective antitrust actions, given [the] perception that GOOG is a monopoly in search, requires them to change business practice.”

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