Facebook and the FTC declined to comment.
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission approved a record privacy settlement against Facebook Inc. requiring the social-media company to pay about $5 billion to resolve an investigation stemming from the Cambridge Analytica data scandal.
According to the Journal, three Republican commissioners cast their vote for the fine and two Democratic commissioners voted against it, making the FTC ruling likely a partisan decision.More news: Xi urged Trump to ease N. Korea sanctions - Beijing
The settlement will now be reviewed by the Department of Justice, though it's unlikely that the DOJ will change the outcome of the terms. As part of that settlement, Facebook agreed to ask for users' permission before sharing their data more broadly than their privacy settings specified.
While the deal resolves a major regulatory headache for Facebook, the Silicon Valley firm still faces further potential anti-trust probes as the FTC and Justice Department undertake a wide-ranging review of competition among the biggest United States tech companies.
The agreement, which probably would include restrictions on Facebook, caps a lengthy investigation, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Even a record $5 billion penalty won't be too damaging a dent for Facebook, which made a profit of $22 billion a year ago on $56 billion in total revenue, or a profit margin of 45%.More news: Soccer star Allie Long says her LA hotel room was burglarized
Some Facebook critics have argued the company should face tougher sanctions including monitoring of its data practices, or that chief executive Mark Zuckerberg should be personally liable for penalties.
In March 2018, after a string of revelations about the rogue data firm Cambridge Analytica soon metastasized into larger trust issues for Facebook, the FTC opened an investigation into the company. Facebook acknowledged giving big tech companies like Amazon and Yahoo extensive access to users' personal data, in effect exempting them from its usual privacy rules. Facebook's shares closed at $204.87 on Friday and added 24 cents after hours.
"Investors still had lingering worries that the fine might not be approved".
Rep. David Cicilline, a Democrat from Rhode Island, said in a statement that the fine gives Facebook "a Christmas present five months early". It's very disappointing that such an enormously powerful company that engaged in such serious misconduct is getting a slap on the wrist.More news: Iowa reports 1st confirmed 2019 human West Nile virus case
The fine would be a fraction of the billions of dollars Facebook makes from advertising every year.