NEW YORK (AP) — Two bipartisan groups of state prosecutors launched separate antitrust investigations against Facebook and Google, joining regulatory inquiries at two of the world's largest technology companies.
New York Solicitor Letitia James, who is a Democrat, upheld the Facebook investigation friday during a press conference, saying the inquiry will focus on "control of the social network in the economic branch and possible anti-competitive behavior derived from that domain."
"Even the world's largest social media platform must abide by the law and respect consumers," he said. "I am proud to lead a bipartisan coalition of state prosecutors to investigate whether Facebook has suppressed competition and endangered users."
She said the investigation would try to determine whether Facebook compromised consumers' personal information, restricted the quality of options for consumers, or increased advertising prices.
Facebook did not comment at the moment.
The Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal, citing anonymous sources, have reported that the coalition of state prosecutors will announce a separate investigation against Google in Washington, D.C.
Google issued a statement that did not directly address antitrust complaints, but said its service "helps people on a daily basis, creates more opportunities for consumers, and supports thousands of jobs and small businesses across the country."
"We continue to work constructively with regulators, including state prosecutors, to answer questions about our business and the dynamic technology sector," he said.
James said the coalition that leads and researches Facebook includes colleagues from Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, and the District of Columbia.
The U.S. Department of Justice announced in July that it was opening an antitrust investigation into large technology companies, but did not mention any companies. He said he was going to investigate whether online platforms had adversely affected competition or consumers, or whether they had suppressed innovation.
The Lower House Legal Affairs Committee is also conducting an antitrust investigation into large technology companies.