The FTC and Facebook declined to comment on the reports.
While this settlement would mark by far the largest penalty against a tech company, far in excess of the $22.5 million the FTC fined Google in 2012, investors nonetheless appeared to breathe a sigh of relief that it wasn’t bigger.
Facebook stock ended Friday up nearly 2% after the Journal report was released.
“The FTC’s settlement is woefully insufficient in light of Facebook’s persistent privacy violations,” Sally Hubbard, director of strategic enforcement at the Open Markets Institute, an advocacy group generally skeptical of big tech, said in a statement. “The fine is a mere cost of doing business that makes breaking the law worth it for Facebook.”
“This has emerged as a powerful test of the FTC’s credibility as a privacy data protection authority,” William Kovacic, who chaired the FTC under former President George W. Bush, told CNN Business earlier this year. “If it seems to conclude this in a way that is weak, it will suffer tremendously.”
There were no details about these or any other possible additional measures in Friday’s reports.
— CNN Business’ Donie O’Sullivan contributed reporting.