FTC to announce $5B Facebook settlement as soon as this week

The Federal Trade Commission is expected to announce as soon as this week a settlement with Facebook Inc. over the company’s privacy practices, according to people familiar with the matter.

The settlement, which includes a roughly $5 billion fine and other requirements of Facebook, would conclude a lengthy probe into whether the firm kept its promises around protecting user data.

As part of the settlement, Facebook plans to form a new board committee focused on privacy oversight, one of the people said.

The exact timing of the announcement was still being determined, this person said, but it is expected before the stock market close on Wednesday, when Facebook is set to report its quarterly earnings.

A spokeswoman for the FTC declined to comment. Facebook declined to comment.

The Wall Street Journal reported on July 12 that the FTC had voted 3-2 in favor of the settlement, with a Republican majority backing the pact while Democratic commissioners objected, and had gone on to the Justice Department’s civil division for review.