States to Launch Google, Facebook Antitrust Probes

WASHINGTON—State attorneys general are formally launching separate antitrust probes into Facebook Inc. and Alphabet Inc. ’s Google unit starting next week, putting added pressure on tech giants already under federal scrutiny.

New York Attorney General Letitia James said Friday that her office was organizing a bipartisan, multi-state probe into social media company Facebook. Her announcement confirmed an earlier Wall Street Journal report.

“I am proud to be leading a bipartisan coalition of attorneys general in investigating whether Facebook has stifled competition and put users at risk,” Ms. James said in a statement. “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.”

Joining in the Facebook investigation so far are the attorneys general of Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, and the District of Columbia, she said. The wide-ranging investigation focuses on Facebook’s “dominance in the industry and the potential anticompetitive conduct stemming from that dominance,” her office said.

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