Facebook Inc. investors may be starting to wish CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before Congress more often.
Over the course of Zuckerberg’s 11 hours of Congressional testimony over the past two days, Facebook’s market cap increased by about $17.3 billion — or roughly $1.57 billion an hour. Facebook shares rose 0.8% Wednesday overall after declining slightly before Zuckerberg began answering questions in the mid-morning. Together with Tuesday’s 4.5% spike, Facebook shares have now pared their year-to-date losses to 5.8%.
In appearing before Congress for the first time after repeated calls from lawmakers to testify, Zuckerberg fielded a gauntlet of questions about Cambridge Analytica, data privacy, Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election, censorship, political bias and possible regulation of the social media giant.
Pinar Yildirim, an assistant professor at University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, said that Zuckerberg was more confident and comfortable during his second day of testimony before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.
The issues that were brought up by House members on Wednesday all centered around the fact that “Facebook is so dominant, and has so much control,” Yildirim said.
There was also a “noticeable uptick” in the relevancy of questions asked by lawmakers today, Loup Ventures managing partner Gene Munster said in an email.
“Congress seemed a bit more informed, but many of them were still pretty shockingly out of touch,” Munster said.
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SOURCE: The Street, Francesca Fontana