QR.bizNewsUSA regulators approve $5 billion Facebook settlement over privacy issues

USA regulators approve $5 billion Facebook settlement over privacy issues

The Cambridge Analytica scandal was brought to light by the Guardian which found that the firm had improperly gathered information about over 50 million Facebook users.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the vote was 3-2 along party lines, with Republicans in support and Democrats in opposition to the fine.

The Facebook-FTC matter has now been moved to the US Justice Department for a review. The penalty against Facebook would be larger than the record-setting $22.5 million the FTC imposed on Google in 2012. Joseph Simons, head of the FTC, and Makan Delrahim, the assistant attorney general overseeing antitrust at the Justice Department, were among those who attended the event in Colombia.

Facebook shares rose nearly 2 per cent after the settlement was first reported, closing at $204.87 each.

A source knowledgeable about the settlement negotiations had told Reuters in May any agreement would put it under 20 years of oversight.

The FTC fine will likely decrease Facebook's 2019 earnings per share by 60 cents per share, and investors will "likely look past the headwind" given that is it "one-time in nature", Cowen & Co. analyst John Blackledge wrote in a note Friday.

Facebook will be asked to fork out $5bn in a settlement with America's trade watchdog, the FTC, following last year's Cambridge Analytica fiasco, it was reported Friday.

A joint report from privacy commissioner Daniel Therrien and his British Columbia counterpart said major shortcomings were uncovered in Facebook's procedures.

Other leaky controls have also since come to light.

The web-based social networking monster has also recognized giving other huge tech organizations like Amazon and Yahoo broad access to clients' close to home information, essentially exempting them from its standard protection rules. Around the time the news broke this afternoon, Facebook share prices jumped from around $202 per share to $205.27, its highest price in the past year, and the sort of spike that often signals confidence from Wall Street.

The fine is not the end of the story.

Democratic Senators Ron Wyden of OR and Mark Warner of Virginia also criticized the settlement, as did House Antitrust Subcommittee Chairman David Cicilline, a Rhode Island Democrat who is conducting an antitrust investigation of Facebook and other technology giants. This includes almost a dozen by the Irish Data Protection Commissioner, which oversees privacy regulation in the European Union. Facebook declined to comment on the status of those probes.

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       By Alvin Wanjala

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