Facebook revealed it expects to pay up to $5bn in fines to the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for allowing the misuse of its user data during the last US presidential elections, even as it tries to resolve two investigations and another two lawsuits related to the same matter.
Facebook recorded earnings per share of $0.85 compared to estimates of $1.63 EPS. Analysts polled by FactSet expected earnings of $1.62 per share and revenue of $14.98 billion. As the Washington Post reported, Wyden said, "Given Mr. Zuckerberg's deceptive statements, his personal control over Facebook, and his role in approving key decisions related to the sharing of user data, the FTC can and must hold Mr. Zuckerberg personally responsible for these continued violations". "The matter remains unresolved, and there can be no assurance as to the timing or the terms of any final outcome", Facebook said in the report.
Facebook's decision to set aside billions of dollars comes as the company continues negotiating with the FTC on a settlement that would end its investigation. This time, the company was accused of not protecting its users' data from being harvested without their consent by Cambridge Analytica, a British political consulting firm that was building voter profiles for the Trump campaign.
Net income attributable to Facebook shareholders fell to $2.43 billion, or 85 cents per share, in the first quarter ended March 31, from $4.99 billion, or $1.69 per share, a year earlier.
Yet, Williamson said that there is no downplaying the looming FTC fine.
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I can't imagine they'll wait until 17. " I give up ", WFAN host Lori Rubinson tweeted. Gettleman said . "There is a cultural thing to it that's critical".
But there are questions if fines are enough, especially because the largest technology companies make billions in profits each quarter.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks during the F8 Facebook Developers conference on May 1, 2018, in San Jose, Calif. "With 2.7bn monthly active users, Facebook's family of apps is still where most consumer-to-brand engagement happens online". They have now regained much of the ground lost past year amid slowing growth and costs associated with the company's privacy scandals. Last March, the U.S. regulator confirmed it was investigating Facebook over the Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal, which exposed the personal data of 87 million people to a political consultancy hired by Donald Trump's presidential campaign.
Facebook has been buffeted by one scandal after another, but the company's growth-at-all-costs mantra seems to be paying off.
The company launched a sales system last month that enables users to purchase products directly on Instagram and is testing a WhatsApp payments system in India that it plans to roll out to other countries, Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said.
Setting aside a monster sum of up to $5bn is a salutary lesson for Facebook that it can not put profits ahead of people and it is clear something is changing at the social media giant. "Both are continuing to provide strong performance for them".