Economy

Facebook on the hook as states launch competition, privacy probe

Facebook on the hook as states launch competition, privacy probe”

The new action was announced by NY state Attorney General Letitia James on behalf of a coalition of representatives from several states.

"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 in a statement.

James said the largest social media platform in the world "must follow the law".

State officials from Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio and Tennessee are part of the investigation, as well as the district of Columbia.

But some legal analysts say the case against the tech firms faces challenges because the companies have in many cases provided services for free and brought prices down, making it hard to prove they harmed "consumer welfare", the legal standard applied under judicial precedent. We understand that if we stop innovating, people can easily leave our platform.

In recent years Facebook has greatly expanded its business ventures, acquiring Instagram and WhatsApp Messenger which unlike their parent company are growing fast. The Wall Street Journal first reported that Facebook would also be subject to investigation, and that the effort could expand to include other companies.

Separately, the Federal Trade Commission, which also enforces antitrust laws, is probing Amazon and Facebook to determine if they abused their massive market power in retail and social media, respectively.

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.

Facebook, of course, denies it violated any antitrust rules, and said it is eager to work with lawmakers to come up with regulations to "protect" users. The investigation is believed to target Google, Amazon.com Inc and Facebook, and potentially Apple Inc.



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