Facebook Stock Prices Surge After Receiving $5 Billion Fine

Say Contributor

The Federal Trade Commission hit Facebook with a $5 billion dollar fine, potentially the largest ever levied against a tech company. In response, the embattled social media giant saw its largest stock gains in over a year. Slap Bet While the phrase “biggest fine ever,” (pending approval from the Justice Department) makes it sound like the FTC really threw the book at Mark Zuckerberg and company, critics such as Senator Elizabeth Warren and the anti-Facebook coalition Freedom from Facebook thought the fine was a weak slap on the wrist, and have called on congress to investigate the FTC. Facebook doesn’t seem too shook, as the company had set aside $3 billion earlier this year in anticipation of the fine, and brought in $15 billion in revenue last quarter. Fine Time The FTC investigation was prompted after the news broke personal data of tens of millions of Facebook users improperly wound up in the hands of Cambridge Analytica, a data firm that worked on President Trump’s 2016 campaign, violating a previous agreement Facebook made to better protect user privacy. While the FTC's new settlement requires the company to tighen up its privacy practice. But notably, the FTC didn't choose to restrict Facebook’s ability to collect and share its users’ data with third parties. More To Come Zuckerberg had a good weekend, but he might not want to break out the champagne yet, as Facebook’s critics aren’t backing off any time soon. They will be facing antitrust hearings tomorrow, along with Apple, Amazon and Google, and members of Congress are publicly mulling over a federal privacy law. And Warren’s calls to break up Facebook already have become one of the most notable parts of her election campaign. -Michael Tedder Photo: Charles Platiau/REUTERS