The social media giant has agreed to pay a $1bn settlement to settle a lawsuit alleging it illegally blocked content in an effort to boost its bottom line, according to people familiar with the matter.
Facebook’s lawyers have said the settlement, which was disclosed by the company on Thursday, covers only a fraction of the nearly $2bn in damages the company claimed the Justice Department was seeking.
Facebook also agreed to settle claims it did not act with reasonable diligence in deciding which ads it blocked.
The $1 billion payment is the largest settlement in the history of the antitrust suit, and comes as the company grapples with growing public pressure to clean up its image after the US Federal Trade Commission accused it of abusing its power to silence critics.
A spokesperson for Facebook declined to comment on the settlement.
The settlement comes after the Justice department filed a criminal complaint against Facebook in December over allegations that it violated the antitrust law.
The department alleged that Facebook’s policies and practices violated antitrust law by favoring certain advertisers over others, including ones with smaller audiences.
Facebook denied the allegations and said it has made efforts to comply with the law.