Report: State Attorneys General to Launch Google, Facebook Antitrust Investigations

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State attorneys general will launch an antitrust investigation into Facebook and Google next week, according to a report released Friday.

New York Attorney General Letitia James said Friday that she has worked with a bipartisan group of attorneys general on an antitrust probe into Facebook.

James said in a statement to the Wall Street Journal:

I am proud to be leading a bipartisan coalition of attorneys general in investigating whether Facebook has stifled competition and put users at risk. 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.

 The attorneys general of Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, and D.C. will join the investigation, James said.
Google recently settled with the state of New York, to which the search giant agreed to pay New York $34 million to resolve allegations that it collected children’s personal information without their parents’ consent.
Several state attorneys general also plan to announce their Google antitrust probe next Monday, with approximately three dozen state attorneys general. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton will reportedly lead the Google investigation, which will focus on Google’s advertising markets and whether Google’s dominance in the ad markets harms competition.

A Google spokesman said:

Google’s services help people every day, create more choice for consumers, and support thousands of jobs and small businesses across the country. We continue to work constructively with regulators, including attorneys general, in answering questions about our business and the dynamic technology sector.

The Journal‘s report follows an exclusive Breitbart News interview with Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry that said many state attorneys generals have “had enough” of big tech, and they will “take action” after significant investigation.

“You know I would tell you that if everybody thinks it’s just saber-rattling, then they’re wrong,” Landry told Breitbart News. “At some point in time we believe when there’s smoke there’s fire, and at a time when we are able to gather evidence, we’re going to take action.”

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), one of the Senate’s foremost big tech critics, cheered the reported Google and Facebook antitrust investigations.

”I was proud to launch the first antitrust and privacy investigation of Big Tech by an attorney general two years ago. I’m heartened to see a new group of attorneys general with the courage to stand up to these powerful companies and fight for citizens,” Sen. Hawley said in a statement Friday. “Big Tech companies should be held accountable if they are violating our privacy or harming our children or killing innovation.”

Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.

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