Lucky for Facebook bulls, the company cooperated — or the damage could have been worse.
“The fine is lower than it would have been,” had the company not come forward and taken the blame, said Vestager, who’s made a name for herself by attacking the business and privacy practices of giant U.S. Internet firms.
The fine came the same week that Italian and French authorities levied their own fines related to sharing consumer data, that added up to close to $4 million.
Taken together, these bills add up to about 4 cents a share.
And more costs for doing business in Europe may be on the way.
Belgium and the Netherlands in the past week also released a statement that criticized how Facebook tracks users for advertising purposes.
On Thursday, the UK’s Conservative Party, which is preparing for a general election early next month, released its latest political statement, which proposed a levy on Internet firms to help fund efforts to reduce online abuse, according to the Financial Times.
Granted, the tax may never be enacted, and will likely be a relatively small amount by itself. Yet investors should be clear that the regulatory environment in Europe seems to be turning against Facebook. When betting on how Facebook will fare versus Wall Street expectations, they may want to add an expense line named for Vestager and her colleagues.
Facebook is seen posting a profit of 78 cents a share for the period ending in June.