Rutledge opens investigation of Facebook for antitrust violations

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Says, ‘Major tech platforms like Facebook have thrived on the public’s willingness to share their personal information’

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge with a bipartisan group of state attorneys general speaks to reporters in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, Monday, Sept. 9, 2019. A bipartisan coalition of 48 states along with Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia said Monday it is investigating whether Google’s search and advertising business is engaged in monopolistic behavior. It follows a Friday announcement of a similar multistate probe targeting Facebook. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced a bipartisan investigation by 47 state attorneys general into Facebook for antitrust violations. The multi-state investigation will concentrate on potential anti-competitive business practices stemming from Facebook’s dominance in the industry.

“Major tech platforms like Facebook have thrived on the public’s willingness to share their personal information and preferences,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “This investigation is a deeper dive into the business practices used by Facebook to determine whether it has committed any violations of antitrust laws.”

In September, Attorney General Rutledge announced an antitrust investigation into whether Google conducts its business practices in accordance with State and federal antitrust laws. A bipartisan coalition of 50 attorneys general plan to collaborate with federal authorities to investigate the tech giant’s overarching control of online advertising markets and search traffic that may constitute anti-competitive behavior that harms Arkansas consumers.

Attorney General Rutledge joins the bipartisan investigation being led by New York Attorney General Letitia James. The investigation now includes the attorneys general of Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, the District of Columbia and the territory of Guam, in addition to a number of other states that cannot confirm its participation in pending investigations.

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