New York – Two bipartisan groups of state attorneys launched separate antitrust investigations against Facebook and Google, adding to the regulatory research two of the largest technology companies in the world.
The New York Attorney Letitia James, who is a Democrat, confirmed the investigation on Facebook on Friday during a press conference, saying that the investigation will focus on "the control of the social network in the economic branch and the possible anticompetitive behavior derived from that domain."
"Even the world's largest social media platform must abide by the law and respect consumers"he said." I am proud to lead a bipartisan coalition of state attorneys to investigate whether Facebook has suppressed competition and endangered users. "
She said the investigation would try to determine whether Facebook endangered consumers' personal information, restricted the quality of options for consumers or increased advertising prices.
Facebook did not comment at the moment.
The Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal, citing anonymous sources, have reported that the coalition of state attorneys will announce Monday a separate investigation against Google in Washington, D.C.
Google issued a statement that did not directly address antitrust complaints, but said its service "It helps people every day, creates more opportunities for consumers, and supports thousands of jobs and small businesses across the country".
"We continue to work constructively with regulators, including state attorneys, to answer questions about our business and the dynamic technology sector," he said.
James said the coalition he heads and researches Facebook includes colleagues from Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee and the District of Columbia.
The US Department of Justice announced in July that it was going to open an antitrust investigation on large technology companies, but did not mention any companies. He said he would investigate whether online platforms have negatively affected competition or consumers, or if they have suppressed innovation.
The Lower House Committee on Legal Affairs is also conducting an antitrust investigation on large technology companies.