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8 states and D.C. are now investigating Facebook for potential antitrust violations

8 states and D.C. are now investigating Facebook for potential antitrust violations
[Photo: Joshua Hoehne/Unsplash]

New York attorney general Letitia James is leading a multistate investigation into whether Facebook violated antitrust laws, she said in a statement Friday.

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“I am proud to be leading a bipartisan coalition of attorneys general in investigating whether Facebook has stifled competition and put users at risk,” James said. “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.”

She’s joined in the investigations by the attorneys general from Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, and the District of Columbia.

Facebook didn’t immediately respond to an inquiry from Fast Company.

“People have multiple choices for every one of the services we provide,” said Will Castleberry, Facebook’s vice president for state and local policy, according to a Reuters report. “We understand that if we stop innovating, people can easily leave our platform. This underscores the competition we face, not only in the United States but around the globe.”

Castleberry said the company intends to work constructively with the attorneys general, according to Reuters.

The social networking giant has also said in regulatory filings that it’s the subject of antitrust scrutiny by the Federal Trade Commission, CNBC reports. The company announced a separate $5 billion settlement with the FTC in July over concerns about user privacy.

Elizabeth Warren, the senator from Massachusetts and Democratic presidential hopeful, has called for the government to break up big tech companies including Facebook, potentially including undoing Facebook’s acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp.

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