Apr 24, 2019

Facebook expects to be fined billions by U.S. government

Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg in May 2018. Photo: GERARD JULIEN/AFP/Getty Images

Facebook told investors it expects a Federal Trade Commission fine of up to $5 billion, driving down its GAAP earnings per share. Still, Facebook stock was up more than 4% in after-hours trading Wednesday after reporting otherwise positive first-quarter earnings.

Why it matters: Reports had suggested that the FTC could slap Facebook with a multibillion-dollar fine as a result of an ongoing investigation into Facebook's handling of data privacy. Facebook says it expects a loss of $3 to $5 billion from the debacle. The matter still unresolved.

The big picture: Despite the write-down for a major fine that it is anticipating around the way it managed user privacy, the company still continues to grow, adding more users and advertising dollars and meeting Wall Street expectations.

The details: The company reported that its GAAP EPS was $85 cents, compared to a consensus of $1.62 and down from $1.89, due to a "one-time charge," that was attributed to the FTC's inquiry.

By the numbers:

  • Earnings: $85 cents vs. $1.63 per share forecast by Refinitiv
  • Revenue: $15.08 vs. $14.98 billion, forecast by Refinitiv
  • Daily active users: 1.56 billion vs. 1.56 billion, forecast by FactSet
  • Monthly active users: 2.3 billion vs. 2.37 billion, forecast by FactSet
  • Average revenue per user: $6.42 vs. $6.39, forecast by FactSet
  • "Family of apps" daily active users: 2.1 billion
  • "Family of apps" monthly active users: 2.7 billion

Go deeper: For tech giants, profits far outweigh fines

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Scoop: New White House personnel chief tells Cabinet liaisons to target Never Trumpers

McEntee, shown with White House counselor Kellyanne Conway and White House senior adviser Stephen Miller, walks on the South Lawn of the White House Jan. 9. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Johnny McEntee called in White House liaisons from cabinet agencies for an introductory meeting Thursday, in which he asked them to identify political appointees across the U.S. government who are believed to be anti-Trump, three sources familiar with the meeting tell Axios.

Behind the scenes: McEntee, a 29-year-old former body man to Trump who was fired in 2018 by then-Chief of Staff John Kelly but recently rehired — and promoted to head the presidential personnel office — foreshadowed sweeping personnel changes across government.

How art can help us understand AI

Photo: Ina Fried/Axios

Activists and journalists have been telling us for years that we are handing too much of our human autonomy over to machines and algorithms. Now artists have a showcase in the heart of Silicon Valley to highlight concerns around facial recognition, algorithmic bias and automation.

Why it matters: Art and technology have been partners for millennia, as Steve Jobs liked to remind us. But the opening of "Uncanny Valley: Being Human in the Age of AI" tomorrow at the de Young Museum in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park puts art in the role of technology's questioner, challenger — and sometimes prosecutor.

The Deontay Wilder-Tyson Fury fight is the rematch of the century

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The weekend's biggest sporting event is Wilder-Fury II, which despite its name is not an action movie sequel starring Jean-Claude Van Damme but, rather, a boxing match starring arguably the two best heavyweights in the world.

The backdrop: In their first meeting in December 2018, Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury put on a memorable show at Staples Center, with Fury surviving a brutal right hand in the 12th round to earn a split-decision draw.

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