Forty attorneys general have joined an antitrust investigation into Facebook, New York officials said Tuesday, bringing the total to 47 and reflecting the broad concerns about the social media giant's size and influence in controlling information — while stifling competition, pricing and service quality.
"We have vastly expanded the list of states, districts, and territories investigating Facebook for potential antitrust violations," New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement.
"Our investigation now has the support of 47 attorneys general from around the nation, who are all concerned that Facebook may have put consumer data at risk, reduced the quality of consumers' choices, and increased the price of advertising.
"As we continue our investigation, we will use every investigative tool at our disposal to determine whether Facebook's actions stifled competition and put users at risk," she said.
James first announced New York State's Facebook probe last month, involving six other states and the District of Columbia.
The increased numbers of attorneys general now involved in probing Facebook represent Republican and Democratic states alike.
In addition, 50 state attorneys general said last month that they would investigate Google on similar issues.
The Justice Department is also pursuing both tech giants, while the Federal Trade Commission has reportedly begun probes of Facebook and Amazon.
"Competition built this country and free and competitive markets are important for social media platforms," said Republican South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson. "We are part of a bipartisan group investigating whether Facebook violated any state or federal laws.
"To ensure that there is meaningful market-based competition, we will work exhaustively to verify that companies follow the law."
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