NY Attorney General & 7 other states target Facebook in antitrust probe

in General Discussion edited September 2019
A joint investigation has been launched against Facebook by the New York State Attorney General, probing the social network for potential antitrust violations, just two days after reports a similar action is being prepared against Google.

Announced on Friday, the investigation by New York State Attorney General Letitia James is a multi-state probe involving the attorneys general of Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, and the District of Columbia.

The investigation will look into "Facebook's dominance in the industry and the potential anticompetitive conduct stemming from that dominance," reports CNBC.

"Even the largest social media platform in the world must follow the law and respect consumers," said James, adding she was proud to be leading a bipartisan coalition of attorneys general in looking into whether Facebook has stifled competition and put users at risk. James insisted "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 announcement arrives just two days after reports indicate another investigation will be made against Google, again in a joint effort involving possibly more than 30 state attorneys.

The probe is the latest part of escalating tensions over the power of major tech companies like Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Apple over the rest of the industry. Both the US Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission are performing their own investigations into the tech industry over potential antitrust matters.

Tech industry representatives have also appeared in front of the House Judiciary Committee to answer questions as part of a House Antitrust Subcommittee investigation into "platform gatekeepers" and "dominant firms."

Antitrust issues have also become a talking point in the 2020 Presidential race, with Sen. Elizabeth Warren calling for a Standard Oil- or Bell-style breakup of big firms.

The investigation is a continuation of what could be considered a very bad year for Facebook. In July, it paid a $5 billion fine and agreed to a variety of conditions to settle an investigation by the FTC into privacy violations during the Cambridge Analytica scandal.


  • Reply 1 of 10
    spice-boyspice-boy Posts: 1,439member
    Now I now where that thumb is suppose to go. 
  • Reply 2 of 10
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 3,430member
    But it’s cool that telecoms are all de facto monopolies that are price-fixing, being awful to consumers, and continuing to hold up the national rollout of fiber & proper high bandwidth service...
  • Reply 3 of 10
    Destroy them
  • Reply 4 of 10
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,480member
    Destroy them
    Yeah, right. They’ll be coming after Apple when they get done with Facebook and Google. What will you say then? From a conspiracy theory standpoint it’s clear to me that big tech has gotten too powerful and influential for the Washington powerful elites to ignore. They want all the power and now view the tech giants as unacceptable rivals for that power. All of them, including Apple, are almost at the “too big to fail” point.
  • Reply 5 of 10
    So will we be proud or outraged if Apple's investigation gets more AGs to sign on relative to Google or Facebook?  I'm betting on 22 AGs (and not including California).
  • Reply 6 of 10
    Break Facebook up.

    Put Mark and Sheryl in jail.
  • Reply 7 of 10
    kestral said:
    Break Facebook up.
    Unfortunately, that wouldn't really help as much as people want to think it would.  It would disperse some of the data collection, but companies can always sell or share data.  And breaking them up wouldn't help with all the addictive crap they're all embedding in their products.

    Put Mark and Sheryl in jail.
    THIS is pretty much the only thing that would seriously get the attention of big data.  I'd probably be okay with it, based on all the documented lies that they've told over the years.  They have caused immeasurable damage to our society, and continue to do so on an ongoing basis.
    edited September 2019 cornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 10
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,278member
    "Even the largest social media platform in the world must follow the law and respect consumers,"

    Facebook has never respected consumers. If that’s the goal, you might as well shut them down. That wouldn’t be the worst thing, though. 

    Ive long advocated for a direct financial penalty on the CEOs of corporations like Facebook. Make Zuck pay $10 for every user whose privacy is breached. Zuck would be broke and our deficit would be gone. 

    And yeah, Comcast et al need to be sued as well. Broadband has become almost as essential as phone service (actually more,) and in 90+ % of the country you have one choice. Where I live, I can choose between Comcast, Centurylink DSL that maxes out at sub-megabit speeds, or satellite. Most of the country is in the same boat. The FTC should do like they did with the long distance carriers. 

    For the people claiming 5G will be the cure to these woes, think again. To replace residential broadband the carriers need to get line-of-site transmitters within a few hundred feet of your house. Even if there’s a phone pole already there, there’s no cable for Verizon/AT&T etc, so they have to run cable all around every residential neighborhood they plan to cover, then install transmitters, then convince people to switch while Comcast lowballs their prices just long enough to drive them out of the market so they can jack them up again. 
  • Reply 9 of 10
     >:) And yet microsoft continues it’s anticompetitive licensing agreements. Amazing that Gates has escaped scott-free all these decades. The doj ought to look at itself in the mirror
  • Reply 10 of 10
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,857member

    Impeccable ad placement.

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