The Journal's report said that the FTCsettlement will include "government restrictions on how Facebook treats user privacy", however, it remains unclear what those restrictions entail.
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 USA tech companies.
Whether or not you pay much attention to the stock market, you probably couldn't help but notice headlines today about Facebook, Inc. shares dropping dramatically due to issues involving user privacy.
The multi-billion-dollar settlement draft, details of which appeared in the USA mainstream media this afternoon ahead of any official word from the FTC or Facebook, will be the watchdog's largest in its history.
Facebook's settlement will now proceed to the Justice Department, which will review the FTC's decision and either sustain or challenge it.
Representatives for Facebook and the FTC didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.
Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI), who is leading a House Judiciary Committee antitrust investigation into big tech, chastised the alleged FTC settlement. It's very disappointing that such an enormously powerful company that engaged in such serious misconduct is getting a slap on the wrist.
For now, the specifics of the settlement remain largely unknown, except for the figure which is believed to be in the region of $5 billion. This fine is a fraction of Facebook's annual revenue. "It won't make them think twice about their responsibility to protect user data", he said.
While the FTC settlement removes a major burden weighing on the company, Facebook is still grappling with regulatory scrutiny on a host of other fronts.
The United Kingdom Information Commissioner's Office fined £500,000 in 2018 over the Cambridge Analytica scandal, which also served as the largest fine the office authorized.
If the reports of the deal are true, and if the settlement is accepted by both sides and approved, Facebook will have to cough up $5bn, which is at the upper end of what the Silicon Valley web giant was expecting. It is not clear how long it will take to finalize.