Facebook Inc (FB.O) shares fell as much as 6.5 percent on Monday after the main U.S. consumer protection regulator said it was investigating how the social network allowed data of 50 million users to get into the hands of a political consultancy.
Scrutiny by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, which generally confirms the existence of an investigation only in cases of significant public interest, adds to pressure from lawmakers in the United States and Europe for Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg to explain how his company handles user data.
Facebook shares briefly dipped below $150 on Monday for the first time since July 2017, before recouping some losses. They were down 3.1 percent at $154.37 in afternoon trading.
At the day’s session low the company had lost $100 billion in market value since March 17, when newspapers first reported that Facebook member data was improperly used by consultants Cambridge Analytica to target U.S. and British voters in close-run elections.
“FTC takes very seriously recent press reports raising substantial concerns about the privacy practices of Facebook,” the regulator said in a statement. “Today, the FTC is confirming that it has an open non-public investigation into these practices.”
The investigation is broader than looking into whether Facebook violated a 2011 consent order it reached with the FTC over its privacy practices
Source: reuters -https://www.reuters.com/article/us-facebook-cambridge-analytica-ftc/facebook-shares-tumble-as-u-s-regulator-announces-privacy-probe-idUSKBN1H2212?feedType=RSS&feedName=topNews