Facebook Faces Antitrust Investigations By Eight States And District Of Columbia

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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.”

Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio and Tennessee are the other states initiating investigations.
Facebook has not offered any comment on the latest actions by the states. In recent months, founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has acknowledged the logic of some form of regulation being applied to the tech giant.
Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg have testified before Congress, along with other tech leaders like Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, as the government grapples with how to regulate the fast-growing behemoths. Democratic presidential candidates like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have made breaking up tech firms a key plank in their campaign platforms, channeling the “tech-lash” being experienced by their supporters.

This article was printed from https://deadline.com/2019/09/facebook-hit-with-antitrust-investigations-new-york-eight-states-1202713867/