New York Attorney General Letitia James leads antitrust investigations into Facebook, other states follow

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Social media giant Facebook is now facing a multistate investigation for potential antitrust violations. Led by the New York State Attorney General Letitia James, the investigation will also include the attorney generals of Colorado, Iowa, Nebraska, Florida, Ohia, North Carolina, Tennessee and the District of Columbia.

“Even the largest social media platform in the world must follow the law and respect consumers. I am proud to be leading a bipartisan coalition of attorneys general in investigating whether Facebook has stifled competition and put users at risk. We will use every investigative tool at our disposal to determine whether Facebook’s actions may have endangered consumer data, reduced the quality of consumers’ choices, or increased the price of advertising,” read the official statement.

James announced launching the investigation on Friday and said that the probe will focus on the social media giant’s dominance in the industry and the “potential anti-competitive conduct stemming from that dominance.”

While the company’s shares went down by nearly 0.5% in the pre-market on the day of the announcement, there seemed to be no subsequent reaction to the announcement in terms of the stock performance. The regulatory actions and investigations launched against Facebook seem to have very low impact on the company’s stock performance.

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With regard to the investigation launched by James, Will Castleberry, Facebook’s Vice President of state and local policy said that the company will “work constructively with state attorneys general and we welcome a conversation with policymakers about the competitive environment in which we operate.”

Currently, the FTC is also investigating the social media giant over antitrust concerns. The company had also mentioned the same in its quarterly report as well. Moreover, Facebook had to pay a whopping $5 billion fine to the FTC over issues with the company’s privacy policies and the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Alongside Facebook, Google may now face an investigation by more than 30 state attorney generals, as reported by the CNBC. It was also revealed that the state attorney general of Texas might lead the investigation on the search engine giant.

This investigation is said to be focused on the company’s effects in the realm of digital advertising and how it may potential harm consumers, as reported by the WSJ.

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Naga Pramod

Naga Pramod is a computer science major and tech news reporter with a passion for cyber security, networking, and data science. [email protected]