Facebook Facing Multi-State Investigation for Potential Antitrust Violations

Led by New York State Attorney General Letitia James, the attorneys general of eight states and the District of Columbia will investigate Facebook for possible violations of antitrust laws. The investigation arises from concerns over the dominance of Facebook in its industry. Attorney James noted that this dominance could harm consumers by undermining competition. The investigation will try to uncover any ways in which Facebook may be restricting the choices available to consumers. It also will look into whether Facebook has increased the price of advertising by harming competition.

In addition to James, the attorneys general of North Carolina, Florida, Tennessee, Ohio, Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, and the District of Columbia will participate in the investigation. It is separate from an antitrust investigation by the Federal Trade Commission that has targeted Facebook. The investigation also is separate from an antitrust investigation into Google that is expected to involve the attorneys general of over 30 states. (The Texas attorney general will lead that investigation, which will look into Google’s impact on digital advertising.)

At this stage, Facebook has not suffered a drop in performance due to the ongoing and pending investigations. Its leadership has argued that it provides ample choices to consumers who use its services. Facebook has pledged to cooperate with the investigation, while it continues to innovate in ways that will attract and retain customers.

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