Press Release

FTC’s Facebook Fine Fails the Public

Washington, D.C. — Yesterday Facebook said it expects to be fined between $3 billion and $5 billion by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for violations of a 2011 promise to protect Americans’ privacy. By contrast, Facebook reported that first-quarter revenue soared by 26% year on year, to nearly $15 billion.

Open Markets Institute Executive Director Barry Lynn issued the following statement:

“The FTC’s likely fine appears to be grossly insufficient to punishing Facebook for its outrageous behavior. Facebook for years demonstrated complete disregard for its original agreement with the FTC. By failing to stand up for its own authority, the FTC appears, in turn,  to be demonstrating complete disregard for the fundamental interests of the American people. Rule of law requires that enforcers of the law enforce the law. Congress should act immediately to ensure that all five members of the Commission fully understand their jobs, and the responsibilities entrusted to them by the American people. Democracy depends on breaking Facebook’s stranglehold over the flow of news and information and ensuring the corporation fully respects and protects the privacy of the millions of citizens who use the platform. It’s time for all five of the FTC’s commissioners to do what the American people hired them to do.”

Press Contact: Stella Roque at Open Markets Institute, [email protected]