Facebook to face US antitrust probe from state attorneys general

Facebook has been named as the target of a new antitrust investigation launched by nine US state attorneys, amid concerns over anti-competitive behaviour.

A bipartisan coalition led by New York state attorney general Letitia James said on Friday that it will launch an investigation into the social media giant to determine whether it has stifled competition and put users at risk.

The attorneys general of Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, and the District of Columbia will join New York in the probe. 

The investigation will focus on Facebook’s dominance in the industry and potential “anticompetitive conduct”, according to a statement issued by Ms James. 

She said: “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.”

This new investigation is the latest headache for Facebook, which was recently hit with a $5bn fine from the Federal Trade Commission. The Department of Justice is also is investigating Facebook for other potential legal violations involving innovation. 

This antitrust action comes just days after a coalition of state attorneys launched antitrust action against Google to investigate whether the company has behaved anti-competitively.