Facebook slides after states launch new antitrust probe, intensifying scrutiny on big tech (FB)



Shares of Facebook sank more than 2% on Friday after New York Attorney General Letitia James said her office was coordinating a multistate antitrust probe into the company. The probe is expected to look at how Facebook has handled consumer data and whether the company has stifled competition, according to a press release from James' office. Facebook paid a $5 billion fine to the Federal Trade Commission in July over the company's handling of the Cambridge Analytica data breach.


State attorneys general are joining the rush to investigate big tech.

Shares of Facebook tumbled more than 2% on Friday after New York Attorney General Letitia James said states including New York were launching a separate antitrust probe into the social-media company.

"Even the largest social media platform in the world must follow the law and respect consumers," James said in a press release, adding, "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."

Colorado, Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, Iowa, Nebraska, Tennessee, and Washington, DC, will join New York in the investigation, the press release said.


The social-media company recently settled a separate investigation, paying a $5 billion fine to the Federal Trade Commission in July over its handling of the Cambridge Analytica data breach.

Antitrust scrutiny of big tech companies like Facebook, Google, and Amazon has grown dramatically over the past year. The Department of Justice and the FTC have launched or considered pursuing investigations into whether the companies are engaged in anticompetitive practices.

An area that has come into focus is Facebook's acquisitions of other social-media platforms, including Instagram and WhatsApp. Some regulators and politicians have suggested that the purchases eliminated the company's competitors.

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