NEW YORK (AP) — Two bipartisan groups of state attorneys general are launching separate antitrust investigations into Facebook and Google, adding to regulatory scrutiny of two of the world’s largest and most ubiquitous tech companies.
New York Attorney General Letitia James, a Democrat, confirmed the Facebook investigation in a news release Friday, saying the probe would focus on Facebook’s “dominance in the industry and the potential anticompetitive conduct stemming from that dominance.”
“Even the largest social media platform in the world must follow the law and respect consumers,” she said. “I am proud to be leading a bipartisan coalition of attorneys general in investigating whether Facebook has stifled competition and put users at risk.”
She said the probe would seek to determine if Facebook endangered consumer data, reduced the quality of consumer choices or increased the price of advertising.
Facebook had no immediate comment.
The Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal, citing sources they did not identify, have reported that a coalition of attorneys general will announce a separate investigation of Google in Washington, D.C., on Monday.
Google issued a statement that didn’t comment directly on the antitrust concerns but said its services “help people every day, create more choice for consumers, and support thousands of jobs and small businesses across the country.”
“We continue to work constructively with regulators, including attorneys general, in answering questions about our business and the dynamic technology sector,” it said.
James said the coalition she is leading on the Facebook investigation includes the attorneys general of Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee and the District of Columbia.
The U.S. Justice Department announced in July that it was opening a sweeping antitrust investigation of Big Tech, though it did not name any specific companies. It said it was investigating whether online platforms have hurt competition, suppressed innovation or otherwise harmed consumers.
The House Judiciary Committee is also conducting an antitrust probe into major tech companies.