Forty-seven state attorneys general have now joined a sweeping investigation into Facebook’s business practices aimed at determining whether the company has engaged in anti-competitive behavior, ignored privacy laws, or violated any other laws, according to the New York Attorney General’s office.
In a statement on Tuesday, Letitia James, the Democratic attorney general of New York, said in a statement that investigators would use every tool at their disposal “to determine whether Facebook’s actions stifled competition and put users at risk.” The officials also aim to determine whether Facebook has “reduced the quality of consumers’ choices” and “increased the price of advertising.”
“When competition is blocked, innovation can be stifled and consumers are harmed. Facebook, like every other company, must comply with our antitrust laws, and this investigation is looking into whether it has,” said Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul, adding: “No one is above the law.”
The probe is the latest sign of a growing bipartisan unease with the immense sway a small number of tech companies hold over the digital economy. Google’s market power is likewise being scrutinized by attorneys general in four dozen states. And the U.S. Justice Department, reflecting concerns that “Big Tech” is abusing its control to stifle competition in markets, announced a broad antitrust review of Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Apple this summer.
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