Facebook sets aside $3 billion to cover expected FTC fine

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Total revenue rose 26% to $15.077 billion, ahead of Wall Street analysts' consensus forecast.

But excluding items including the potential FTC penalty, the company earned $1.89 per share, better than analysts' expectations of $1.63 per share. However, the actual earnings per share ($0.85) fell short of the estimated amount ($1.63).

The company also raised the top end of its provision for losses related to Federal Trade Commission privacy concerns from $3 billion to between $3 billion and $5 billion. "The matter remains unresolved, and there can be no assurance as to the timing or the terms of any final outcome", Facebook said in its official earnings release Wednesday.

In addition to the FTC investigation, Facebook faces several others in the U.S. and Europe, including one from the Irish Data Protection Commission, and others in Belgium and Germany. This time, the company was accused of not protecting its users' data from being harvested without their consent by Cambridge Analytica, a British political consulting firm that was building voter profiles for the Trump campaign.

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The main Facebook app had 8 percent more monthly and daily users compared to a year ago - 2.4 billion and 1.6 billion, respectively, in line with forecasts.

The one-time charge slashed Facebook's first-quarter net income considerably, although revenue grew 25% in the period. He said Facebook expenses have risen 80 percent partly due the expected fine.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg has vowed to remake Facebook with security and privacy serving as the two cornerstones of the company.

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The FTC opened a new investigation previous year after Facebook came under fire again. Investigators have reportedly found plentiful evidence that Facebook violated a 2011 FTC agreement requiring it to get permission from users before sharing their data with third parties - and to notify the FTC when third parties have misused this data.

Monthly active users (MAUs) on Facebook reached 2.38 billion - also an increase of 8 per cent year-over-year. In addition, around 2.7 billion people use at least one of Facebook's family of services each month.

Amid all the criticism and scrutiny, Zuckerberg has plans to offer privacy-focused platforms, which can encrypt your personal information and give you greater control over your data.The goal is to develop the platforms over the next five years, Zuckerberg said in a Wednesday earnings call. It added the inquiry is looking to determine whether Facebook has complied with "obligations" of the rules.

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