Facebook stock drops 7% in 2 hours as the company faces legal troubles

Facebook stock dropped 7% early Thursday in New York, as the tech giant faced legal trouble and other questions over the security of the user data of millions of users.

The stock, which traded at $30.94 at 11:31 a.m.

ET, was down more than 5% for the day.

Facebook is the largest U.S. social network by users.

Shares of Facebook fell in Tokyo and London, and in Frankfurt and Paris, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The company said it would be “in the middle of preparing for an initial public offering.”

A person familiar with the matter, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the company was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly, said Facebook was cooperating with the Justice Department.

The news came after Facebook announced that it had secured $1.25 billion in a deal with Yahoo Inc., which had filed suit in New Zealand in December to prevent the social network from going public.

Yahoo sued to stop the public offering, alleging that Facebook had violated the terms of its $1 billion sale of Yahoo to Verizon Communications Inc. in 2015, and that the deal was based on fraudulent misrepresentations by Yahoo and its chief executive officer, Marissa Mayer.

The Justice Department has asked a federal judge in California to force Yahoo to hand over more than 80 million Yahoo users’ personal information.

Yahoo has argued that the information would not be used for any purpose.

Facebook said it will share the information to help prevent future fraud and abuse.

Facebook has faced criticism in the past from privacy advocates, who say the social networking giant’s users’ data is used to promote advertising and other products, and from some of the largest technology companies, including Alphabet Inc., Google Inc., and Apple Inc.

The social network also has faced scrutiny in the wake of the government’s investigation of whether the company abused its data to boost its advertising revenue.


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