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47 attorneys general join New York Facebook antitrust investigation

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Oct. 22 (UPI) — Attorneys general in nearly every other state and territory and district have joined a New York investigation into potential antitrust concerns involving social media giant Facebook, officials said Tuesday.

New York Attorney General Letitia James announced Tuesday 47 attorneys general have joined the inquiry.

James said last month she and seven other states and the District of Columbia were involved in the investigation that focuses on Facebook’s dominance in the social media market, and whether it’s engaging in anti-competitive conduct. Tuesday, she said the list had grown substantially.

“After continued bipartisan conversations with attorneys general from around the country, today I am announcing that we have vastly expanded the list of states, districts and territories investigating Facebook for potential antitrust violations,” she 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.”

Facebook has run into privacy and antitrust claims for years. Federal regulators fined the company a record $5 billion in July for violating an order related to the privacy of users’ personal information.

Indiana Republican Attorney General Curtis Hill, who’s among those who joined the New York investigation, said he’s willing to “follow the facts to determine whether Facebook has engaged in anti-competitive behavior in violation of state and federal antitrust laws.”

Massachusetts Democratic Attorney General Maura Healey said the Internet must “remain fair and open to everyone.”

Authorities in 48 states and Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico said last month they were investigating Google for possible antitrust violations.

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