Facebook shares were down about 0.5% in Friday’s premarket, but did not seem to react to James’ announcement.
Attorneys general of Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee and the District of Columbia will join the probe, according to the announcement. It will focus “on Facebook’s dominance in the industry and the potential anticompetitive conduct stemming from that dominance,” according to the release.
“Even the largest social media platform in the world must follow the law and respect consumers,” James said in a statement. “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.”
Facebook is already facing a separate investigation by the Federal Trade Commission over antitrust concerns, the company confirmed in its quarterly report in July. That announcement came on the same day that the FTC announced its $5 billion settlement with Facebook over its privacy policies.