Facebook on the hook as states launch competition, privacy probe

Yolanda Curtis
September 10, 2019

New York State Attorney General Letitia James said Friday that her office is commencing a multistate antitrust investigation into Facebook, Inc.

"We will use every investigative tool at our disposal to determine whether Facebook's actions may have endangered consumer data, reduced the quality of consumers' choices, or increased the price of advertising", James said Friday.

Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano says Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg did not commit a criminal act by allowing privacy lapses at the social media company.

In July, Facebook acknowledged in its quarterly report that it is facing an antitrust investigation by the Federal Trade Commission.

Here are some of the ongoing investigations and potential legal threats involving Facebook.

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody has joined seven other states and the District of Columbia in investigating Facebook for possible antitrust violations.

Facebook is already under investigation by NY over its unauthorized collection of 1.5 million users' email contacts without their permission during an email-password verification process for new users. The inaction in the United States came to stand in stark contrast with Europe, which later issued a series of stinging, multibillion-dollar fines against the company for the way it displays search results and manages its Android smartphone operating system.

"People have multiple choices for every one of the services we provide".

"Even the largest social network in the world must obey the law and respect consumers".

New York Attorney General Letizia James said that an antitrust investigation will be conducted against the American social network.

On Friday, the 6th of September 2019, two groups of USA state Attorney Generals, led by NY and Texas, had announced separate antitrust investigations against US-based large tech titans such as Facebook Inc. and Alphabet Inc.'s Google LLC.

"We look forward to showing how we are investing in innovation, providing services that people want, and engaging in robust and fair competition", he added. The company said it has already responded to many government agencies around the world on how it conducts its businesses and expects state attorneys general to ask similar questions.

But Stucke said it would be wrong to view antitrust law as exclusively focused on consumer prices, and that it may be applied to questions of competition and innovation. "I don't' think big is necessarily bad", he said.

The scrutiny arrives as federal authorities are embarking on their own investigations into big tech. Others like Amazon offer consistently low prices on a wide array of merchandise.

Other reports by iNewsToday