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In context: Following a wide array of breaches, data privacy scandals, and other controversies, Facebook certainly hasn't been viewed in the most positive light lately. Indeed, due to its many failures, the company has been the focus of some fairly intense scrutiny from various regulatory boards and agencies throughout the world.
In the US, one such board is the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), who has been looking into Facebook's past controversies with a fine-tooth comb. According to a new report from The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), after some likely intense negotiations, the FTC has agreed to settle their case against the social media giant to the tune of around $5 billion.
While that's still only a fraction of Facebook's revenue, it's a more sizable hit than we often see in these situations.
...the vote to settle with Facebook was predictable: the three Republicans on the FTC voted in favor of the settlement, whereas the two Democratic Commissioners took the opposite stance...
According to The WSJ, the vote to settle with Facebook was predictable: the three Republicans on the FTC voted in favor of the settlement, whereas the two Democratic Commissioners took the opposite stance; seemingly feeling that the settlement didn't have enough impact. The WSJ says "other government restrictions" have likely been included in the settlement, but they were unable to find out what said restrictions might be.
Facebook's settlement will now proceed to the Justice Department, which will review the FTC's decision and either sustain or challenge it.
It remains to be seen whether or not this $5 billion hit will be enough to convince Facebook to change its ways, but given that the company's business model largely relies on user data, one probably shouldn't expect massive adjustments to occur any time soon.