New York state's attorney general announced on Friday that she and other state attorneys general are formally launching an antitrust probe into Facebook (FB) - Get Report , placing additional pressure on the social media giant who already is facing intense federal and international scrutiny over its competitive practices.
"I'm launching an investigation into Facebook to determine whether their actions endangered consumer data, reduced the quality of consumers' choices, or increased the price of advertising," New York Attorney General Letitia James announced on Twitter as well as in an official statement. "The largest social media platform in the world must follow the law."
Attorneys general of Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee and the District of Columbia will join the probe, according to the statement. The probe will focus "on Facebook's dominance in the industry and the potential anticompetitive conduct stemming from that dominance," the statement said.
"Even the largest social media platform in the world must follow the law and respect consumers," James said in the statement. "I am proud to be leading a bipartisan coalition of attorneys general in investigating whether Facebook has stifled competition and put users at risk.
"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."
Facebook for some time has been under scrutiny by regulators over its acquisitions of smaller market players with the intent of snuffing out its competition, as well as its role in directly or indirectly influencing the public in elections.
That investigation, which will examine the impact of Google on digital advertising markets, specifically whether its practice of targeting ads to users based on information it culls is harmful to consumers, will be led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican.
Google earlier this week agreed to pay a record $170 million fine and to make changes to protect children's privacy on its YouTube video site to settle charges with regulators that the company had illegally collected personal data from children and used it to target them with advertising.
Shares of Facebook were down 1.97% at $187.15 in trading on Friday. Shares of Alphabet were down 0.38% at $1,207.61.