Today, Facebook confirmed during its Q2 earnings call and in its quarterly report that the Federal Trade Commission notified the company in June that the agency has opened an antitrust investigation into Facebook. An FTC investigation means there is particular conduct by the company that the agency is interested in, and that the agency is examining that conduct to determine if it violates antitrust law.
Today, the Federal Trade Commission released details of its $5 billion settlement with Facebook over the company’s repeated violations of a 2012 consent decree, which includes privacy violations such as the Cambridge Analytica incident.
Reports indicate that the Federal Trade Commission recently voted 3-2 along party lines to approve a roughly $5 billion settlement with Facebook over the company’s repeated privacy violations, including the Cambridge Analytica incident. The FTC is expected to unveil the terms of the fine -- including possible conditions -- once the Department of Justice has finalized the settlement.
Facebook announced yesterday that it expects to pay a fine up to $5 billion dollars over accusations that the company violated its 2011 consent decree with the Federal Trade Commission over consumer privacy on the social media platform. The company also said there can be no assurances as to the terms of resolution of the investigation.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently published an op-ed in the Washington Post naming a role for government and regulation around four specific policies that continue to be concerns for users of Facebook and broader digital platforms. In two areas (privacy and political advertising) Zuckerberg reiterates Facebook’s agreement with previous legislative proposals, including parts of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union and (although not named) concepts from the Honest Ads Act introduced by Senators Amy Klobuchar, Mark Warner, and the late John McCain. In addition to these two topics, Zuckerberg also moves towards responding to calls from the public interest community for stronger content moderation of hateful content and for meaningful data portability to promote competition in a market that trends towards dominant platforms. While some may view yet another Facebook op-ed cynically, I believe this one should be welcomed.