23 April 2019
Facebook shares have tumbled more than 22 percent this year. Photo: Reuters
Facebook shares have tumbled more than 22 percent this year. Photo: Reuters

Facebook to buy back additional US$9 billion of shares

Facebook Inc. will buy back an additional US$9 billion of its shares as it looks to pacify investors following a slump in its stock, Reuters reports.

The social media giant’s shares, which have tumbled more than 22 percent this year, rose nearly 1 percent in extended trading on Friday.

The new program is in addition to a share buyback plan of up to US$15 billion announced by the company last year.

Facebook is being investigated by lawmakers in Britain after consultancy Cambridge Analytica, which worked on Donald Trump’s US presidential campaign, obtained personal data of 87 million Facebook users from a researcher.

Concerns over the social media giant’s practices, the role of political adverts and possible foreign interference in the 2016 Brexit vote and US elections are among the topics being investigated by British and European regulators.

In Australia, the competition regulator outlined concerns about the ability of social media companies like Facebook and Alphabet Inc.’s Google to monetize content and the extent to which consumer data is used for targeted advertising.

“The inquiry has also considered important questions about the range and reliability of news available via Google and Facebook,” the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said in a statement on Monday.

Australia’s parliament passed a bill on Thursday to force tech firms such as Google, Facebook and Apple Inc. to give police access to encrypted data, the most far-reaching such requirements imposed by a Western country.

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