Facebook’s $119 Billion User Privacy Payment

Facebook’s $119 Billion User Privacy Payment

Facebook lost about $119 billion of its market cap today. Technically, it made history: it recorded the largest loss in a single day in stock market history. But Facebook is lucky: it did not lose because of competition; it lost because of correcting its past. Yes, User Privacy won even as Facebook temporarily lost.

Facebook just had the biggest wipeout in stock market history.
Shares plunged 19% on Thursday after executives warned that revenue growth would slow as the company focuses on user privacy.

The sell-off vaporized about $119 billion in market value — the biggest single-day loss for any public company in history, according to Thomson Reuters.

The fact that Facebook is undergoing this redesign which will be painful is a testament that it has no serious competitor. They must have modeled all the scenarios, thinking they could lose $150 billion by the time the whole transformation is completed. Had the social media giant had a real competitor, the drastic change may be muted or rethought. Largely, Facebook is temporarily disarming and investors are rattled. Most investors cannot stand leaving money on the table. But here, Facebook is doing the right thing.

Facebook, Inc.  reported second-quarter earnings after the bell on Wednesday, beating on earnings but narrowly missing on revenue and user counts. FB stock fell more than 7 percent in after-hours trading.

Facebook earnings by the numbers. The social media giant reported earnings per share of $1.74, beating Wall Street consensus estimates for $1.72. Revenue came in at $13.23 billion in the second quarter, barely missing the $13.36 billion analysts expected.

But perhaps the numbers most FB shareholders were watching involved monthly active users (MAUs) and daily active users (DAUs).

All Together

I have noted that no one can effectively regulate a category-king business in the web sector because if you break any entity into pieces, one will grow to dominate under the winner-takes-all. The brilliance for Facebook is that it is dealing with its evil today knowing that it is only Facebook that will fill the void tomorrow. You can pity it for “paying” $119 billion to deal with user privacy issues, the hard fact remains that it is only Facebook that will benefit from this IOU since there is no other entity in the world that can take its position in any place that is not China. Largely, Facebook is smart: it is creating a future it wants so that it can predict the outcome of its planet.

And even if U.S. regulates Facebook by breaking it, the best surviving part will grow to dominate over time because of network effect where the best gets better and bigger. We just have to agree that Facebook is an ICT utilities and I was very happy when my editors in Harvard allowed me to use that against the company. You negotiate with your utilities [ electricity, water] because you have no alternatives. That is where we are with Facebook.


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