Within the report, a note was made specifying a legal expense estimated at $3 billion due to an “ongoing matter” with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) as an expense loss in the company earnings.
On the earnings call, company leaders mentioned that the $3 billion loss was estimated on the low-end.
The Federal Trade Commission is a United States government department which protects America’s consumers from unfair business practices. The latest investigation by the FTC is in reference to Facebook mishandling private user data from the latest Cambridge Analytica breach as well as inquiries “into the platform and user data practices”.
This fine would be the largest made by the FTC since a penalty was issued to Google in 2012 which cost the tech company $22.5 million in reference to tracking users on Apple Inc.’s Safari browser.
Connecticut’s Senetor Richard Blumenthal tweeted about the matter, mentioning that fines for Facebook should be increased after noting that the tech giant’s profits last quarter surpassed $15 billion:
Facebook must be held accountable—not just by fines (a predicted $3 billion seems paltry compared to $15 billion in profits last quarter), but also far reaching reforms in management, privacy practices & culture. Money matters. Policies & people matter too.https://t.co/5JgFGPA8se — Richard Blumenthal (@SenBlumenthal) April 24, 2019