The US Federal Trade Commission has reportedly approved a $5 billion (€4.4 billion) fine for Facebook over its investigation into the company’s handling of user data.
The investigation was concerning claims that the political consultancy company Cambridge Analytica improperly obtained the data of up to 87 million Facebook users.
The probe had looked at whether the data sharing violated a 2011 consent agreement between Facebook and the regulator.
The FTC is expected to include restrictions on how Facebook treat user privacy as part of the settlement, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Republicans were reportedly in favour of the sanction while Democrats opposed it.
The settlement would be the largest ever paid to a civil agency.
The FTC and Facebook have both declined to comment.
Representative David Cicilline, a Democrat and chair of a congressional antitrust panel, said the penalty was a “Christmas present five months early”.
“This fine is a fraction of Facebook’s annual revenue. It won’t make them think twice about their responsibility to protect user data,” he said.
A huge number of Irish Facebook users were informed that their data may have been compromised by the Cambridge Analytica scandal last year.