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U.S. regulators approve $5 billion Facebook settlement over privacy issues – source

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(Reuters) – The U.S. Federal Trade Commission approved a roughly $5 billion settlement with Facebook Inc this week over its investigation into the social media company’s handling of user data, a source familiar with the situation said on Friday.

The FTC has been investigating allegations Facebook inappropriately shared information belonging to 87 million users with the now-defunct British political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica. The probe has focused on whether the sharing of data and other disputes violated a 2011 consent agreement between Facebook and the regulator.

Shares of Facebook rose after the news was reported by the Wall Street Journal earlier on Friday and closed up 1.8%. Facebook earlier this year said it had set aside $3 billion to pay for what it said it expected to be a $3 billion to $5 billion penalty.

The FTC and Facebook declined to comment.

The settlement still needs to be finalised by the Justice Department’s Civil Division and a final announcement could come as early as next week, the source said.

The FTC is expected to include other government restrictions on how Facebook treats user privacy, WSJ reported.

(Reporting by David Shepardson and Diane Bartz in Washington and Shanti S Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Rosalba O’Brien)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

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