Facebook Revenue Beats Estimates; Discloses Antitrust Probe

Facebook said on Wednesday that new data privacy rules and forthcoming privacy-focused product changes would slow its revenue growth and significantly raise expenses, driving down its shares in after-hours trade even as quarterly revenue topped estimates. Reuters reports: The outlook came soon after the company agreed to pay $5 billion to settle a data privacy probe and disclosed that it faces a new U.S. government antitrust investigation. On Wednesday, Facebook’s chief financial officer, Dave Wehner, told analysts that the FTC settlement would require “significant investment” in people and technology. He said ad revenue would be affected by new privacy laws rolling out globally, changes in privacy rules by the operating systems on which Facebook relies, and the company’s tweaking its own services. Facebook “earned $16.9 billion in revenue, up 28% from a year ago,” reports The Wall Street Journal. “The company posted $2.6 billion in profit, or $0.91 a share, reflecting a one-time $2 billion charge as part of its $5 billion settlement with the Federal Trade Commission announced earlier on Wednesday, and an accounting change regarding tax deductions for stock-based compensation. Without those two charges, the company would have earned $1.99 a share, beating analysts’ expectations of $1.88.”

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