The Federal Trade Commission has reached a settlement with Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) over a cookie tracking issue. We have received an email confirming the press conference and seen the press release showing that Google will have to pay $22.5 million to settle the FTC charges over misrepresenting privacy assurances to users of Safari browsers of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL).
What is at issue, or what should be at issue, is whether a $22.5 million settlement is enough to matter to a company like Google. Google is approaching an amount of $50 billion in cash, even if the FTC says that this is the largest FTC penalty ever for violation of a Commission Order. The order also requires Google to disable all the tracking cookies it had said it would not place on consumers’ computers.
The event is showing up as a non-event for Google Inc. shareholders as the stock is up 0.2% at $643.71 on thin volume trading. If anyone cares, it is not evident in the shares.
Google’s 52-week range is $480.60 to $670.25 and its current market capitalization is a whopping $210 billion as of now.
JON C. OGG