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NY and CT in multistate antitrust investigation of Facebook

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New York Attorney General Letitia James is taking a leadership role in a multistate investigation into whether the social media giant Facebook has violated antitrust laws.

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

James is joined at the helm of the investigation by the attorneys general of Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, and the District of Columbia. Connecticut Attorney General William Tong has confirmed his state is participating in the probe.

“After continued bipartisan conversations with attorneys general from around the country, today I am announcing that we have vastly expanded the list of states, districts, and territories investigating Facebook for potential antitrust violations,” James said. “Our investigation now has the support of 47 attorneys general from around the nation, who are all concerned that Facebook may have put consumer data at risk, reduced the quality of consumers’ choices, and increased the price of advertising. As we continue our investigation, we will use every investigative tool at our disposal to determine whether Facebook’s actions stifled competition and put users at risk.”

“Social media is a critical part of doing business in today’s economy,” Tong said. “Any effort by Facebook to unlawfully stifle competition could cause wide-ranging harm to smaller companies, restrict consumer choice, and increase cost for all. Connecticut is working closely with attorneys general across the nation in taking a very hard look at Facebook to determine whether it is engaging in unlawful competitive practices. We cannot prejudge the outcome of this investigation, but stand ready to follow the evidence where it takes us to protect American consumers.”

Tong added that Connecticut was leading a separate multistate investigation into Facebook’s privacy practices and the role played by Cambridge Analytica’s Facebook activities during the 2016 election. Facebook did not offer any public comment on the investigations.

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