Facebook sets aside $3 billion in anticipation of FTC privacy violations fine

Facebook’s Q1 2019 financial results may have beat Wall Street expectations – racking up $15.08 billion rather than the predicted $14.97 – but its earnings per share was dampened by the $3 billion the company put aside in anticipation of fines that will be owed to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for consumer privacy violations.

The company reported per share of 85 cents, which fell far short of the $1.62 expected by analysts.

"In the first quarter of 2019, we recorded an accrual of $3 billion in connection with the ongoing inquiry of the FTC," according to a company statement. "This matter remains unresolved, and we estimate that the associated range of loss is between $3 billion and $5 billion."

The fine would be largest ever levied by the FTC.

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., earlier this week said the FTC should find Facebook in violation of its 2011 settlement agreement and hold company CEO Mark Zuckerberg accountable for violating consumers’ privacy, according to Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore.

Calling Zuckerberg, the “public face” of the social media giant, Wyden wrote in a letter to the commission, that he should be found “individually liable for the company’s repeated violations of Americans’ privacy.”

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