The investigation focused on whether Facebook had violated a 2011 agreement under which it was required to clearly notify users and gain "express consent" to share their data.
An FTC spokeswoman said Friday that the agency would have no comment. The voting was done by a five-member commission, with three Republicans endorsing the fine and two Democrats objecting to it as they were keen on stricter regulations on the social media giant.
The fine still needs to be finalised by the Justice Department's civil division, and it is unclear how long this may take, the sources said. Mumbrella has approached Facebook for comment. But Facebook is not most companies. For the first quarter of this year, Facebook had $15.1 billion in revenue and $2.4 billion in net profits after subtracting the $3 billion cost. This year, analysts expect around $69 billion, according to Zacks.
While some analysts are at a loss as to why this is so, others believe that because Facebook expected the fine and shaped its annual financials around it, investors reacted positively to news the fine wasn't as huge as they expected it to be.
The $5 billion fine will exist as a virtual Mount Rushmore for all the world to see-a reminder that Facebook can't pull this off without catastrophic breaches of data privacy. The bump, then, could be explained by investors reacting to the end of any uncertainty and the fear that the fine might have been larger. "Now, the Street can breathe a little easier". The $5 billion fine will exist as a perpetual black eye, a reminder that Facebook is not to be trusted.
"The reported $5 billion penalty is barely a tap on the wrist, not even a slap", said Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat from CT. "Such a financial punishment for purposeful, blatant illegality is chump change for a company that makes tens of billions of dollars every year".
The FTC is set to begin an antitrust probe into Facebook, while in Australia the ACCC has handed its Digital Platforms inquiry to Treasurer Josh Frydenberg. The charges came despite changes Facebook announced just a week earlier to its ad targeting system. It's now unclear what measures the settlement includes beyond the fine.
Since it became public that Facebook mishandled the private information of millions of its users during the 2016 presidential election run up, there has been a consistent call from lawmakers for a much greater regulatory oversight of Facebook, including a legislative push to break up of the company. Be that as it may, it faces an assortment of different tests in Europe and the US, some of which could give it considerably greater cerebral pains.
"A fine - no matter how large - is not enough", said David Segal, executive director of Demand Progress Education Fund, in a statement Friday.