Investors take $5B Facebook settlement in stride

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WASHINGTON (AP) – Facebook is doing just fine on Wall Street, despite being slapped with a record $5 billion fine for its mishandling of personal information.

The company’s stock had slipped by less than 1% to $201.51 in Wednesday’s midday trading, a few hours after the Federal Trade Commission announced the settlement. The FTC investigation was triggered by revelations that the data mining firm Cambridge Analytica had harvested information on as many as 87 million Facebook users.

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Investors are taking the news in stride because the settlement won’t change Facebook’s lucrative ad system, which is expected to bring in most of the company’s projected $69 billion in revenue this year. Facebook is due to release quarterly results later Wednesday.

Facebook’s market value is now hovering around $575 billion. That’s roughly $40 billion higher than when news of the Cambridge scandal broke 16 months ago, making the FTC fine much easier to swallow.