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Facebook expects a multibillion-dollar fine from the FTC

2019-04-25 17:01 by
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Facebook announced yesterday that it expects an ongoing investigation from the Federal Trade Commission could result in fines ranging from $3 billion to $5 billion.

"This matter is not resolved so the actual amount of payment remains uncertain," David Wehner, Facebook's CFO, said on a conference call with analysts on Wednesday after the earnings report. "However we are estimating this range of loss to be $3 to $5 billion."

The FTC is looking into Facebook's privacy practices and determining if the company violated a legal agreement to keep user data private. The consumer watchdog began investigating Facebook after revelations surfaced last year that UK consultancy Cambridge Analytica harvested the data of as many as 87 million users without their permission.

Critics say the potential $3 billion to $5 billion fine is too low.

"Facebook would happily pay a one-time fine that is the amount of ads they sell in two weeks, while continuing their shady business practices," said Sarah Miller, a co-chair with an activist group called Freedom From Facebook. "Unless the FTC imposes additional structural remedies they will be as useless to protecting the public as Facebook and their shareholders are predicting."

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