settling for less
July 22, 2019

Facebook reportedly dodged a Federal Trade Commission fine several times larger than the one it's ultimately expected to receive.

Regulators, according to a Monday report in The Washington Post, "stopped short of some even tougher punishments it initially had in mind" for Facebook as part of the FTC investigation into the company's data practices, including a potential fine of "tens of billions of dollars." But Facebook thought it should have to pay less than $1 billion and "felt it could easily prevail in court" over the FTC, the report says.

Ultimately, the FTC reportedly settled with a $5 billion fine. The settlement is expected to be officially finalized and announced in the coming days, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The FTC also considered punishments as part of its settlement that would have held CEO Mark Zuckerberg personally liable for the company's privacy scandals, the Post reports, with this, too, being scrapped as Facebook resisted. The Post cites some sources as now expressing "concern that Facebook may not have had to admit guilt" in the settlement.

Criticism had already emerged last week after reports about the Facebook settlement, with a bipartisan group of senators blasting it as "egregiously inadequate," Engadget reports, also warning that it is "sending the wrong message to tech companies." Read the full report at The Washington Post. Brendan Morrow

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