State AGs Team up to Investigate Facebook and Google
New York Attorney General Letitia James on Friday announced an antitrust probe that seeks to determine if Facebook stifled competition and put users’ information at risk.
“Even the largest social media platform in the world must follow the law and respect consumers,” said James. The investigation will focus on the site’s “dominance in the industry and the potential anticompetitive conduct stemming from that dominance,” said her office.
Joining her in the investigation are AGs from Florida, Colorado, Iowa, Nebraska, Ohio, North Carolina, Tennessee, and DC.
Some of these states are also involved in a separate probe, led by Texas AG Ken Paxton, who is leading a total of 48 states, plus Puerto Rico and D.C., into Google’s impact on digital advertising markets and the potential harm to consumers resulting from the search engine’s ad choices.
Only California and Alabama appear to be uninvolved in the investigations, however both California and Alabama AGs have declined comment on whether they have separate investigations.
“The extreme concentration in the technology industry is bad for the consumer, and in our opinion it’s bad for America,” said Tennessee AG Herbert Slatery III. “The concentration has stifled innovation with market distortions [in] research and development, as entrepreneurs avoid competing with Google and Facebook and other tech giants. So we need to do something about that.”
Slatery’s words reflect a widespread frustration with tech companies even as people remain hooked on their services.
Google and Facebook are also facing pressure from federal authorities, including a Department of Justice investigation into big tech’s effects on competition an innovation.
In July, Facebook agreed to pay $5 billion to settle an FTC probe into its data privacy practices. This week, the agency hit Google’s YouTube with a $170 million fine regarding the site’s handling of children’s privacy.
Editor’s note: Not sure how to get these companies back on the right track. They each have a problem with censoring political speech in favor of liberals and against conservatives. They each have issues with not respecting the privacy of individuals, and releasing private data in the interest of profit. And now they are each accused of monopolistic activities that reduce competitiveness in their industries (to me this is the least of their sins…)
In my opinion, when tech companies have this much influence on public opinion and are blatantly biased, they are dangerous to our democracy. What do you think?