Sci-tech

States hit Facebook and Google with new probes

States hit Facebook and Google with new probes”

NY is leading a multistate investigation of Facebook for possible antitrust violations, Attorney General Letitia James announced Friday, kicking off a bipartisan wave of independent state inquiries targeting the social media giant as well as Google's parent company, Alphabet.

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

Stucke said the investigations may go further by looking at how tech platforms control data, potentially examining "the intersection between competition law and privacy".

At that meeting, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry criticized Google for its dominance in online advertising, saying that the company has the power to make it inefficient and inconvenient for advertisers to use any other platform.

This antitrust motion comes simply days after a coalition of state attorneys launched antitrust motion towards Google to research whether or not the corporate has behaved anti-competitively.

Maurice Stucke, a University of Tennessee law professor, said he expects one of the areas being investigated will be online advertising markets, which are dominated by Google and Facebook.

More importantly, the American tech behemoths engaged in social networking, internet search and other services, e-commerce alongside cloud technologies, once hailed for their contribution in the U.S. economic growth, had become subjects to a number of antitrust probes including privacy breaches and abuse of market influence, while U.S. lawmakers including President Donald Trump, third-party firms, consumers alongside regulators had begun to criticize such kind of power endorsed to big-league tech firms.

The investigation will deal with Fb's dominance within the business and potential "anticompetitive conduct", in line with an announcement issued by Ms James.

"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", said Will Castleberry, Facebook's vice president for state and local policy. Meanwhile, the Department of Justice is conducting an antitrust review of the nation's biggest tech companies. Current interpretations of USA law against monopolies don't obviously apply to companies offering low-cost goods or free online services.

Traditional antitrust law focuses on dominant businesses that harm consumers, typically through practices that raise prices for consumers. "I don't' think big is necessarily bad", he said. But many tech companies offer free products that are paid for by a largely invisible trade in the personal data gleaned from those services.



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