Facebook expects record $5 BILLION fine from FTC over privacy violations

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Battling several privacy violations, Facebook has kept aside United States dollars 3 billion, anticipating a record fine coming from the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) related to the Cambridge Analytica data scandal that involved 87 million users.

Earnings per share topped out at $1.89, which was higher than analysts' expectations of $1.62 per share. Without that charge, earnings would have been $1.89, well ahead of analysts' estimate of $1.63 a share. While Facebook estimated a settlement would range between $3 billion and $5 billion, it cautioned "there can be no assurance as to the timing or the terms of any final outcome".

Federal Trade Commission over an ongoing data privacy investigation.

Investors have generally shrugged off issues surrounding data use, regulatory hurdles or political pressure when evaluating Facebook, focusing instead on its robust financials.

Facebook's' stock closed Wednesday's session at $182.58 per share.

Facebook and the FTC have reportedly been negotiating over the settlement, which will dwarf the prior largest penalty for a privacy lapse, a $22.5m fine against Google in 2012.

The huge hit to Facebook's net income was the dark cloud on an otherwise cheerful day with the company reporting mostly upbeat first quarter earnings results on Wednesday. That's after the company spent $3.96 billion on capital expenditures during the quarter.

Van Dijk hoping for Liverpool wins, title triumph and nice weather!
The Sky Blues have four remaining games - Manchester United tomorrow, Burnley, Leicester City and Brighton & Hove Albion. It's a bit of a waste of energy, isn't it, willing the ball into the goal and things like that.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks during the F8 Facebook Developers conference on May 1, 2018, in San Jose, Calif.

All together, Facebook now estimates more than 2.1 billion consumers use Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger, or its flagship app on a daily basis, and around 2.7 billion people use at least one of its family of services each month. The probe has focussed on whether the sharing of data and other disputes violated a 2011 agreement with the FTC to safeguard user privacy. It later rose again, this time by around 8 percent to $197 per share. The social media company has consistently been criticized by individuals, advocates, and government officials for its inability or unwillingness to protect the private data of its users, and now that may cost them.

The FTC opened a new investigation past year after Facebook came under fire again. His statements came after Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren, a MA senator, urged the breakup of Facebook and other internet companies.

Estimates were for 2.4 billion monthly users and 1.6 billion daily users, according to Refinitiv averages.

Mark Zuckerberg has announced that the company's main focus now is towards the expansion of privacy, safety, encryption, interoperability and secure data storage.

"Facebook has become the digital equivalent of a town square", Zuckerberg said. As such, they are asking Facebook to improve its platform in regards to privacy versus changing their own habits.