Report: States Prepping Antitrust Investigation of Facebook, Google and Others

As many as 20 states are readying an antitrust investigation of big tech

States Prepping Antitrust Investigation of Facebook, Google and Others
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg leaving the Elysee Palace. (Aurelien Meunier/Getty)
By Evan Bleier / August 20, 2019 10:54 am

As many as 20 states are preparing to move forward with a joint antitrust investigation into the tech industry’s largest firms.

Launching as soon as next month, the effort by the group state attorneys will focus on whether the technology companies use their overwhelming power in the marketplace to hold back competitors, according to The Wall Street Journal

While The WSJ doesn’t confirm which tech firms will be investigated, it states Facebook, Google, Amazon and Apple are all “likely” to be the focus.

During the bipartisan probe, the states — including New York, North Carolina, Mississippi and Texas —  will likely issue civil investigative demands, similar to subpoenas, to tech companies that are the focus of the investigation.

“The attorneys general involved have concerns over the control of personal data by large tech companies and will hold them accountable for anticompetitive practices that endanger privacy and consumer data,” a spokesman for New York Attorney General Letitia James told The WSJ.

Formal antitrust investigations of some of tech’s biggest companies have already been launched at the federal level by the U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Trade Commission and House Judiciary Committee.

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