Facebook has two choices — pay what would be a record-setting fine or go to court for what's guaranteed to be an embarrassing, public case over violating customers' privacy.
Two anonymous sources familiar with the issue told The Washington Post that the FTC and Facebook are negotiating a deal, which would force Facebook to pay a multi-billion dollar fine to settle the investigation. That would dwarf the previous record fine for a tech company violating customers' privacy, a $22.5 million settlement against Google in 2012.
The investigation started in March after a British political consulting firm with links to the Trump presidential campaign accessed data on 87 million Facebook users. Under a 2011 agreement, the FTC told Facebook it had to be more transparent to users when it shares personal data with third parties. It also ordered Facebook to stop deceiving users about is privacy practices.
Lawmakers and consumer advocates have already called on the FTC to penalize Facebook for its privacy practices.