Facebook says the FTC is probing it over antitrust concerns

Key Points
  • Facebook disclosed in its latest earnings report that the FTC has opened an antitrust probe into the company. 
  • The company said it received word in June that the FTC was opening an investigation. 
  • The announcement came as Facebook beat expectations for the second quarter. 
Attendees walk past a Facebook logo during Facebook's F8 developers conference in San Jose, California, April 30, 2019.
Stephen Lam | Reuters

Facebook announced on Wednesday that the Federal Trade Commission has opened a new probe into the company over antitrust concerns.

The disclosure came in Facebook's latest earnings report, in which it beat expectations on earnings and revenue for the second quarter. Shares of Facebook climbed after hours on Wednesday following the report.

Facebook said it received notice in June that the FTC had opened an antitrust investigation into the company. It also acknowledged the heightened regulatory scrutiny it has faced over the past several months.

"The online technology industry and our company have received increased regulatory scrutiny in the past quarter. In June 2019, we were informed by the FTC that it had opened an antitrust investigation of our company," Facebook said in its earnings release. "In addition, in July 2019, the Department of Justice announced that it will begin an antitrust review of market-leading online platforms."

In a statement to CNBC, the FTC said: "To [the] extent that Facebook has publicly stated that the FTC has an investigation, the agency can confirm that it does."

Earlier on Wednesday, the FTC handed down a $5 billion fine against Facebook over its privacy dealings, bringing an end to a year-long probe into whether the company violated a prior agreement after the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

The Department of Justice said Wednesday that it was broadly looking into potential antitrust concerns related to large tech companies.

--Lauren Feiner contributed to this report.

I'd have rather seen us take Facebook to court: FTC commissioner
I'd have rather seen us take Facebook to court: FTC commissioner