The firm says it was an "extremely painful" decision

Cambridge Analytica, the firm at the centre of a data-sharing scandal, has announced it's closing down.

The British firm was accused of improperly using the Facebook data from 87 million people, including 45,000 in Ireland, to influence elections.

In a statement, Cambridge Analyica says it's "immediately ceasing all operations" and blamed a "siege of media coverage" for driving away nearly all of its clients.

"Despite Cambridge Analytica's unwavering confidence that its employees have acted ethically and lawfully... the siege of media coverage has driven away virtually all of the company’s customers and suppliers.

"As a result, it has been determined that it is no longer viable to continue operating the business, which left Cambridge Analytica with no realistic alternative to placing the company into administration."

The company says this decision "was extremely painful" for Cambridge Analytica and its employees, "who learned today that they likely would be losing their jobs".

The firm's filed applications to begin insolvency proceedings in the UK, with bankruptcy proceedings beginning soon in the US.