WASHINGTON — Two groups of states are targeting Facebook and Google in separate antitrust probes, widening the scrutiny of Big Tech beyond sweeping federal and congressional investigations into their market dominance.
Dissatisfaction with what federal authorities have done so far may be pushing some states to band together to run their own investigations, possibly eyeing more aggressive sanctions. The Federal Trade Commission's recent $5 billion fine against Facebook over privacy violations, for example, was criticized by consumer advocates and a number of public officials as being too lenient.
New York Attorney General Letitia James said Friday her probe will look into Facebook's dominance and any resulting anticompetitive conduct.
A separate group of state attorneys general is announcing Monday in Washington the launch of an investigation into "whether large tech companies have engaged in anticompetitive behavior that stifled competition, restricted access and harmed consumers," an advisory from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said Friday.
The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal, citing sources they didn't identify, have reported that the target will be Google.
Both groups of state attorneys general include Democrats and Republicans. Joining James, a Democrat, in the Facebook investigation are the attorneys general of Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee and the District of Columbia.