Why Facebook's 'biggest fine ever' is actually peanuts

Don't expect the company to change its ways

Mark Zuckerberg.
(Image credit: Illustrated | Justin Sullivan/Getty Images, bellanatella/iStock)

Here are two news tidbits that really shouldn't go together. This Wednesday, Facebook said it expected to pay a fine of $3 billion to $5 billion to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for violating its users' data privacy. Even the low-end estimate would be far and away the biggest penalty the regulator has ever imposed on a technology company. Also on Wednesday, Facebook's stock jumped 10 percent as its latest profits beat Wall Street's expectations.

How on earth could traders reward Facebook's share value even as it gets slapped with a record fine?

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