8 US states, DC launch antitrust probe into Facebook

New York Attorney General Letitia James on Friday announced that eight U.S. states and the District of Columbia have launched an investigation into social media giant Facebook over ”possible antitrust violations”.

“Even the largest social media platform in the world must follow the law and respect consumers. I am proud to be leading a bipartisan coalition of attorneys general in investigating whether Facebook has stifled competition and put users at risk,” said James in a statement, promising to ”use every investigative tool” at government’s disposal.

The statement added that joining New York and D.C., the attorneys general from Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, and Tennessee will be investigating Facebook as well.

James added that the ”investigation focuses on Facebook’s dominance in the industry and the potential anticompetitive conduct stemming from that dominance”.

Probe into Facebook came only two days after the search engine giant Google and its subsidiary YouTube agreed to pay a record $170 million to settle allegations by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and the New York Attorney General that the YouTube video sharing service illegally collected personal information from children without their parents’ consent.

The FTC alleged that YouTube has violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) Rule enacted in 1998.

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