Facebook was just slapped with a record-breaking fine for privacy violations, but its regulatory headaches are far from over.
The company disclosed Wednesday that it’s also facing an antitrust investigation from the Federal Trade Commission. The disclosure came amid Facebook’s second quarter earnings report, which landed just hours after details of its $5 billion settlement with the FTC were revealed.
“In June 2019, we were informed by the FTC that it had opened an antitrust investigation of our company,” the company said in a statement. That marks the second federal antitrust probe into the social media company. The Department of Justice is also conducting an antitrust review of several major tech companies.
Earlier in the day, Facebook announced it had reached a settlement with the FTC as the result of its long-running investigation into the social network’s privacy practices. As part of the deal, Facebook agreed to pay a $5 billion fine, and to create an “independent privacy committee.” And the Securities and Exchange Committee revealed Facebook would pay a $100 million fine as the result of Cambridge Analytica-related privacy violations.
But these investigations and have fines have done little to affect the company’s bottom line. Facebook reported $16.9 billion in revenue, ahead of analyst expectations. Facebook’s daily active users (DAUs) also rose to 1.59 billion.
That may not always be the case, though. Facebook CFO Dave Wehner warned that Facebook’s revenue growth could slow down during the fourth quarter of 2019 and into 2020 because “ad targeting headwinds.” Specifically, Wehner cited privacy regulation like GDPR, “operating system” changes (presumably, a reference to Apple’s anti-ad tracking features), and Facebook’s overall shift to privacy.
For now though, it’s clear that Facebook’s multibillion dollar FTC fine is more a minor speed bump than a major hurdle, despite Mark Zuckerberg’s insistence the new rules will slow the company down. “Good news on the FTC settlement,” one analyst said during the company’s earnings call.