Facebook’s $5 billion settlement with the Federal Trade Commission this summer smashed records: the FTC had never before fined any company such a hefty amount. But even though critics immediately lambasted the deal as a comparative slap on the wrist for Facebook, which earned about $56 billion in revenue in 2018, newly released documents show that the company was working hard to avoid any penalty at all—and its arguments then are just a prelude to defenses it may mount now, as dozens of state, federal, and international probes pile up around it. Facebook made its claims to the FTC in a February 28 memo ( PDF ), which was independently obtained and published Monday by both The Hill and The Washington Post . In the memo, Facebook argued that the fine is unconstitutional, saying that it violates both the due process clause as well as the excessive fines clause of the Eighth Amendment. “No court would impose such a plainly excessive and disproportionate penalty,” the company said. “The proposed penalty is wildly disproportionate to any harm suffered.” Further Reading FTC fines Facebook $5 billion, imposes new privacy oversight “Facebook is prepared to prove with expert analysis that, in fact, no… Read full this story
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