Facebook to face fresh anti-trust investigation

Facebook hit by US antitrust probe from eight attorneys general

New York Attorney General Letitia James is leading a bipartisan coalition of attorneys general in an antitrust investigation into Facebook for alleged antitrust activity.

"Even the largest social media platform in the world must follow the law and respect consumers". It will also examine if Facebook took anticompetitive actions that harm consumer data and privacy, "the quality of consumers' choices", and pricing in the digital advertising market.

The Post previously reported that more than half the nation's attorneys general were readying a Google investigation, expected to be announced Monday in Washington, but it was unclear whether other tech giants like Facebook and Amazon would find themselves in the coalition's crosshairs.

Will Castleberry, Facebook's vice-president for state and local policy, said the company would work constructively with state attorneys general.

Facebook said people had "multiple choices" when it came to using online services.

Editor's note: Facebook is among NPR's recent financial supporters.

The U.S. Justice Department announced in July that it was opening a sweeping antitrust investigation of Big Tech, though it did not name any specific companies.

The Cambridge Analytica missteps as well as anger over hate speech and misinformation on Facebook have prompted calls from people ranging from presidential candidate Senator Elizabeth Warren to co-founder Chris Hughes for the government to force the social media giant to sell Instagram, which it bought in 2012, and WhatsApp, acquired in 2014.

This is all happening at a time when Facebook has agreed to pay $5 billion to the Federal Trade Commission for failing to protect user data from broad sharing with third-party apps, among other problems.

Two federal antitrust agencies have opened probes targeting the industry broadly, while lawmakers in Congress have grilled executives from Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google about the business practices.

Earlier this year, the US Justice Department said it would launch a "review" of major online platforms to determine if they have stifled innovation or reduced competition.

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