Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg has had a very bad week, even in the context of a very bad year.
The week of bad news actually started March 8 with a proposal from US senator and presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren to break up the company. Then there was the longest-ever outage of Facebook’s social network and services, which almost overshadowed news of a criminal investigation into its data-agreements with other companies. Facebook’s technical glitch was resolved just in time for it to post the departure of two key executives, including the one closely linked with the company’s most iconic product. But the ultimate blow came on Friday with the massacre of 49 people in New Zealand, live streamed on Facebook.
“Hedge funds who were previously complacent about the recent negative headlines are raising eyebrows on the news overnight,” Lynx Equity Strategies analyst Jahanara Nissar wrote in a note. The departure of two top executives also was “concerning — especially given that the conflict was over strategy.”
The snowball of bad news is catching up with the company. The shares had their worst day in more than two months Friday, falling 2.5 percent to close at $165.98.
WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton advised an undergraduate class at his alma mater, Stanford, on Wednesday to delete Facebook, BuzzFeed Newsreports.
Acton, who sold his company to Facebook for $19 billion, criticized Mark Zuckerberg of abusing users’ privacy by allowing ads on Facebook.
This isn’t the first time Acton has called on people to disengage from Facebook. Last year, he showed support on Twitter for a #DeleteFacebook social media campaign triggered by the data privacy scandal started when news broke Cambridge Analytica, the political marketing firm linked to the Trump campaign, had inappropriately obtained the private information of 87 million Facebook users.
The EU’s anti-trust regulator is to slap tech giant Google with a new fine over unfair competition practices, sources told AFP on Friday.
Brussels has targeted the Silicon Valley firm’s AdSense advertising service, saying it restricts some client websites from displaying ads from third parties.
The decision in the long-running case, first reported by the Financial Times, is the latest anti-trust salvo against Google, which has already received nearly seven billion euros in EU fines.
Two sources close to the matter said the verdict would land next week, most likely on Wednesday.