$5 billion fine for Facebook

US media is reporting that regulators have approved a $5 billion fine for Facebook.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) approved a roughly $5 billion settlement with Facebook Inc over its investigation into the social media company’s handling of user data.

To date, it is the largest fine ever levied by the FTC on a tech company.

The FTC has been investigating allegations Facebook inappropriately shared information belonging to 87 million users with the now-defunct British political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica.

Investors applauded news of the deal and Facebook shares rose 1.8%. At the same time lawmakers in Washington condemned the proposed penalty as inadequate.

The FTC is expected to add additional restrictions on how Facebook treats user privacy.

Facebook’s revenue for the first quarter of 2019 was $15.1 billion while its net income was $2.43 billion.

Net income would have been higher, but Facebook set aside $3 billion for the FTC penalty.

While the agreement for the fine resolves a major headache for Facebook, it still faces further potential antitrust probes as the FTC and Justice Department undertake a broad review of competition among the biggest U.S. tech companies.