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5,000 million dollars
5,000 million dollars
That's the price Facebook paid the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to
"protect [Mark] Zuckerberg"
"make his problems go away" as a
result of the company's bad practices.
A claim included in a legal process that
Facebook's own shareholders have launched
against its CEO and founder.
The origin of this multi-million dollar payment dates back to 2018, when Facebook publicly acknowledged that its share of blame in the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
A malpractice for which the Silicon Valley company had to face the
payment of a fine of 106 million dollars imposed by the General Trade Commission (FTC, according to its acronym in English)
However, there is the paradox that
Facebook voluntarily agreed to pay almost 5,000 million more, 47 times the amount of the original sanction
imposed by the public body.
A public body, the
Federal Trade Commission
, whose objective is to safeguard and
protect the interests and rights of consumers
and combat monopolistic practices that go against the principles of free competition.
A public body designed to protect neutrality that functions as an independent government agency in the United States.
In other words, it is part of the state apparatus of the administration but
is not subject to the control or directives of the government that has been elected
According to the lawsuit filed by Facebook's own shareholders,
this multimillion-dollar payment was the result of a negotiation - a "quid pro quo", the documents maintain
- between the company and the Federal Trade Commission with a double objective.
A "quid pro quo express"
For one thing, the $ 5 billion payment ensured that the Federal Trade Commission would not require
Mark Zuckerberg to testify
about the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
On the other hand, this voluntary fine paid with money from Facebook was aimed at preventing the Federal Trade Commission from opening any personal proceedings against Zuckerberg and some executives.
Processes that can
lead to millions in fines and that managers should face with their own assets
, and not with Facebook's.
"Zuckerberg, Sandberg and other Facebook directors agreed to authorize a multi-million dollar settlement with the Federal Trade Commission on a
quid pro quo express
Zuckerberg would not be named in the FTC process
, would be subjected to personal liability or was called to declare ", reads the demand of the shareholders.
The directors of Facebook: "Friends and Companions"
The shareholders' lawsuit also contains
some important details about the functioning of Facebook's Board of Directors
and about the methods used by Mark Zuckerberg to keep it under his control.
"Zuckerberg has been methodically filling
the [Facebook] Board of Directors with friends, cronies
and employees. When an executive has mustered the courage to stand up and speak up, Zuckerberg has expelled them," the disgruntled shareholders explain.
"Unsurprisingly," the document continues, "the Board of Directors
has never exercised serious scrutiny over Zuckerberg's unlimited authority
. Instead, [the Board] has boosted, defended, and paid billions of dollars to him. dollars from Facebook's corporate coffers to make their problems disappear. "
Problems are piling up for Facebook
Shareholder lawsuit is not the only problem currently looming over the company.
Recently, after learning of the existence of internal Facebook reports on how Instagram had a harmful effect on the mental health of adolescents, the United States Senate is preparing a session to thoroughly investigate the impact of these social networks on young people .
According to the criteria of The Trust Project
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