Several state attorneys general united forces to investigate if the social media giant Facebook violated antitrust laws, hurting its users in the process.
The prosecutors will check whether Facebook “stifled competition and put users at risk,” said New York Attorney General Letitia James who is leading the probe.
Even the largest social media platform in the world must follow the law and respect consumers.
The attorneys general of Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, and the District of Columbia are also taking part in the probe.
In recent years Facebook has greatly expanded its business ventures, acquiring Instagram and WhatsApp Messenger which unlike their parent company are growing fast.
Meanwhile the social media behemoth is facing a litany of accusations for violating users’ privacy and misusing their data. In July, the Justice Department (DoJ) launched a probe into whether the big tech firms are complying with antitrust laws. The officials did not explicitly call out Mark Zuckerberg’s company but hinted that they will be going after the major players.
Congress also started an investigation into Facebook and other IT giants. The House Judiciary Committee head, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), voiced concern that “a handful” of companies have taken control over the vast sectors of online commerce and communications. The issue even came up in the 2020 presidential race with Democratic nomination hopefuls, like Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, arguing that Facebook is too powerful and needs to be “broken up.”
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.