The United States is increasing judicial investigations against Facebook, Google and the tech giants


The digital giants left for long months, if not more, of legal wrangling. The US Department of Justice has asked Alphabet, Google's parent company, and Facebook, Amazon and Apple, for information and documents related to antitrust investigations, Reuters said.

But to this first big splinter in the foot, at the federal level, is added the opening of investigations by coalitions of federated states. A first is specifically aimed at Facebook. Letitia James, Attorney General of New York, tweeted Saturday:

"ANNOUNCEMENT: I ​​am launching a survey on Facebook to determine if their actions have endangered consumer data, reduced the quality of their choices or raised the price of advertising.

The largest social networking platform in the world must respect the law. '

Bipartisan Coalitions

Letitia James precise lead a bipartisan coalition, including the attorneys general of seven other states (Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee) and the District of Columbia, ie the capital Washington.

Facebook will have a record fine of $ 5 billion

An even larger coalition is expected to bring together state attorneys from some 40 states, the Washington Post says, as they prepare to launch a survey of techies, especially Google.

This second investigation is led by Ken Paxton, Texas Attorney General, and will be presented this Monday evening (8 pm, French time) in Washington, outside the Supreme Court. His announcement announces "The launch of a multi-state survey to gauge whether large tech companies have engaged in anti-competitive conduct that has stifled competition, reduced access (to platforms) and affected consumers".

Europe as a model

Keith Ellison, Democrat General of Minnesota, commented at the Washington Post:

"The growth of these companies (tech) has exceeded our ability to regulate them in a way that allows competition. They must be regulated, and for me it is the work of state attorneys general, especially when the federal government is not necessarily a reliable partner in this area. '

In June 2018, Ellison, then MP, had asked the Authority for Competition and Consumer Protection, the FTC, to investigate Alphabet, recalling that the company had been sanctioned in 2017 of 2.42 billion by the European Commission, for abuse of dominant position compared to its price comparison Google Shopping (in July 2018, the Commission had imposed a penalty of 4.3 billion euros to Google, this time for its system of Android operation).

READ ALSO> How Google put its services first in its results

The Google survey should be located "At the intersection of privacy and antitrust issues", a source told Reuters.

Apple and its App Store: competing apps well hidden

Although they have less power than the federal government, states can have a severe impact on business, and the Washington Post notes that in the past, for example, they have imposed billions of dollars on and forced them to finance an anti-smoking campaign.

Beyond Facebook and Google, all major digital companies could be included in these large surveys. Attorney General Ellison quoted Amazon, and the "New York Times" reveals this Monday that Apple has for years favored its own applications in its App Store, making them pass far ahead of those of other companies, for at least 700 words of research. Sometimes the user had to scroll through 14 Apple app proposals before coming to a competitor's …

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