Facebook, already under scrutiny for its data practices and vulnerability to malevolent global forces intent on weaponizing its networks, is now facing antitrust investigations in eight states and the District of Columbia.
Among the areas the states will investigate are Facebook’s impact on advertising prices, data and consumer privacy, plus its acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp.
The U.S. Department of Justice’s antitrust chief, Makan Delrahim, said last month at a conference that federal regulators were coordinating efforts with state attorneys general. Tech giants Google and Amazon have also faced increasing pressure to adjust their business practices, with regulators in the U.S. and in Europe starting to focus on their businesses.
Facebook stock, which has risen nearly 40% in 2019 to date after a shaky performance in 2018, fell 2% on the latest news. Midway through Friday’s trading session, it was at $187.11.
New York State Attorney General Letitia James tweeted her plan to launch a probe. Her aim, she wrote, is “to determine whether their actions endangered consumer data, reduced the quality of consumers’ choices, or increased the price of advertising. The largest social media platform in the world must follow the law.”