UPDATE 1-U.S. regulators approve $5 bln Facebook settlement over privacy issues - WSJ

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July 12 (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Trade Commission approved a roughly $5 billion settlement with Facebook Inc this week over its investigation into the social media company's handling of user data, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

The FTC has been investigating allegations Facebook inappropriately shared information belonging to 87 million users with the now-defunct British political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica. The probe has focused on whether the sharing of data and other disputes violated a 2011 consent agreement between Facebook and the regulator.

Shares of Facebook rose after the news and closed up 1.8%. Facebook earlier this year said it had set aside $3 billion to pay for what it said it expected to be a $3 billion to $5 billion penalty.

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A settlement is expected to include other government restrictions on how Facebook treats user privacy, WSJ reported.

FTC and Facebook declined Reuters requests for comment. (Reporting by Shanti S Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Rosalba O'Brien)

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