Facebook warns of potential $5 billion FTC fine

Facebook warns of potential $5 billion FTC fine

Facebook said it expects to be hit by $3 Bn to $5 Bn fine by US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for the ongoing investigation in Cambridge analytical data scandal.

That's down 51% from $4.99 billion, or $1.69 per share, a year earlier, largely as a result of the $3 billion charge.

Excluding the legal costs set aside for the investigation, profit was US$1.89 a share, topping the average analyst estimate of US$1.62.

Facebook is about to pay as much as $5 Billion to the government as a fine for misusing the data of its subscribers. "The matter remains unresolved, and there can be no assurance as to the timing or the terms of any final outcome", Facebook said in its official earnings release Wednesday.

Ashkan Soltani, an Obama-era FTC chief technology officer, wrote on Twitter that Facebook may be buying a blanket absolution with its fine.

The US Federal Trade Commission has been investigating revelations that Facebook inappropriately shared information belonging to 87 million of its users with the now-defunct British political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica.

The social network giant said its revenue for the first three months of the year was $15 billion, up from $11.9 billion in the same period last year.

The FTC declined to comment on the potential fine. That's after the company spent $3.96 billion on capital expenditures during the quarter.

More news: Brothers sue Jussie Smollett's attorneys for defamation

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg arrives to testify before a joint hearing of the Commerce and Judiciary Committees on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, April 10, 2018, about the use of Facebook data to target American voters in the 2016 election.

Long story short, there are now over 2.7 billion monthly users who have access to Facebook and the apps/services it owns (Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp) and more than 2.1 billion people are engaging with at least one Facebook every day. The company reported holding more than $42 billion in cash and marketable securities.

The probe has focused on whether the sharing of data and other disputes violated a 2011 agreement with the FTC to safeguard user privacy.

Despite the litany of privacy debacles, Facebook is profiting from being part of the daily habit of most internet users. Facebook also suffered a data breach that exposed the personal information of almost 50 million users.

He focused his remarks on outlining Facebook's plans for growth, which include building a private messaging platform.

The social network also recently disclosed that millions of Facebook and Instagram passwords had been stored unencrypted - in plain text - and visible to employees, though the company said the information wasn't used improperly. "Facebook is still a major partner in that regard", Williamson added.

Daily users grew 8 precent to 1.56 billion.

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