Facebook beats profit estimates, sets aside $3 billion for privacy penalty5Photo© thequint.com

Facebook beats profit estimates, sets aside $3 billion for privacy penalty

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Facebook on Wednesday blew away Wall Street profit estimates in the first quarter as it kept a lid on the costs of making its social networks safer, and set aside $3 billion to cover a settlement with US regulators, calming investors who had worried about the outcome of a months-long federal probe.

Shares of the world’s biggest online social network jumped more than 10 % after hours.

The US Federal Trade Commission has been investigating revelations that Facebook inappropriately shared information belonging to 87 million of its users with the now-defunct British political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica.

The probe has focussed on whether the sharing of data and other disputes violated a 2011 agreement with the FTC to safeguard user privacy. Facebook set aside $3 billion to cover anticipated costs associated with the settlement, but said the charges could reach as high as $5 billion.