New York Attorney General Leads Eight State Coalition To Open Antitrust Probe Into Facebook

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Chris White Tech Reporter
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New York Attorney General Letitia James announced Friday morning an eight state coalition to open an investigation into Facebook that will focus on the social media titan’s alleged anticompetitive business practices.

The probe will include the attorneys general from Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nebraska, North Carolina and Ohio, among others, James’s office said in a statement. The probe “focuses on Facebook’s dominance in the industry and the potential anticompetitive conduct stemming from that dominance,” the statement read.

A picture taken on Aug. 28, 2019 shows the logo of U.S. online social media and social networking service Facebook displayed on a tablet. (Photo: DENIS CHARLET/AFP/Getty Images)

“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,” said James, a Democrat.

She added: “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.” (RELATED: ‘Tech Witch Hunt’: Here’s How 20 Or More States Plan To Take On Big Tech)

Facebook agreed to pay a record $5 billion in July to settle a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) investigation for violating the terms of a 2012 privacy agreement with the FTC by “deceiving users about their ability to control the privacy of their personal information,” according to the agency.

James’s actions come as Facebook also deals with broadsides from conservatives. GOP Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, for one, believes one of the best ways to ding Facebook is to make the company responsible for content users post, while other conservatives believe depriving access to the platform is a civil rights abuse.

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