Cambridge Analytica Files for Bankruptcy After Facebook Data Leak
Cambridge Analytica, overwhelmed by a scandal over how it harvested data from Facebook to influence the last U.S. election, filed for bankruptcy in New York.
The U.K.-based political consulting firm, which had already said it would cease operations and wind down in its home country, listed liabilities of $1 million to $10 million. The Chapter 7 petition to liquidate U.S. affiliates — including SCL Elections Ltd., and SCL USA Inc. and SCL Social Ltd. — was signed by board members Rebekah Mercer and Jennifer Mercer, daughters of former New York hedge fund manager Robert Mercer whose family backed Donald Trump presidential campaign and helped reshape American conservative politics.
The American bankruptcy case could shed light on some of the company’s relationships and finances, as U.S. legal proceedings are more transparent than those in the U.K., and creditors can use bankruptcy law to subpoena information and probe asset transfers. Cambridge Analytica, which did work for Trump’s 2016 campaign, said in a May 2 statement on its website that it lost “virtually all” customers and suppliers as a result of reports that it improperly obtained information from tens of millions of Facebook Inc. users.
The company listed creditors including Facebook, Target and Google without specifying the size or type of claims they had. A spokesman for Facebook declined to comment and representatives for Google and Target didn’t immediately return calls for comment.
Other data-analytics firms were also among creditors, including Datorama, a self-described global marketing intelligence company based in New York, and Media Analytics, a specialist in the Australian and U.S. retail industries. The filing also showed Datawatch Systems, in Maryland, which has technology to control building access, and Doximity Inc., a network for healthcare professionals.
Doximity, Datawatch and Media Analytics didn’t return a message for comment, and Datorama couldn’t be reached for comment.
Robert Mercer, who made his fortune as co-CEO of Renaissance Technologies, has been a financial backer of Cambridge Analytica, along with Steve Bannon and Breitbart News.
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