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Equifax To Pay Up To $700M Settlement Charge Related To 2017 Cyber Breach

Jayson Derrick

Equifax Inc. (NYSE: EFX) confirmed it reached a settlement with U.S. regulators related to its 2017 cybesecurity incident that affected at least 145 million people.

What Happened

The consumer credit reporting agency said it will pay at least $300 million and potentially up to $425 million in fees to resolve multi-district consumer class action litigation and investigations conducted by the Federal Trade Commission. That fund of up to $425 million could be allocated to pay for credit monitoring for consumers impacted by the 2017 breach if approved by a court. This fund would cove out-of-pocket losses and expenses consumers faced.

Equifax will also pay $275 million in fees to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Attorneys General of 48 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, and the New York Department of Financial Services.

Why It's Important

Equifax CEO Mark Begor said in a press release the settlement is a "positive step" for consumers and the company. The $425 million consumer restitution fund represents the company's commitment to "putting consumers first and safeguarding their data - and reflects the seriousness with which we take this matter."

Separately, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro was quoted by The Washington Post as saying the "largest data breach" in U.S. history was the result of "corporate greed." Executives prioritized "an extra dollar of profit into their pocket" instead of investing the capital in necessary infrastructure "to protect their data."

Begor also said the settlement will better position the company to focus on its investments in technology and security, dubbed "EFX2020."

Equifax's stock traded around $137 per share Monday morning.

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