In the United States, two groups of Attorneys General announced Friday the release of two separate antitrust polls from leading high-...

US states UU. Launch of antimonopoly investigations on technology companies, focus on Facebook and Google

In the United States, two groups of Attorneys General announced Friday the release of two separate antitrust polls from leading high-tech companies such as Google and Facebook on Alphabet.

The first survey, conducted by New York and including seven other states and the District of Columbia, focuses on Facebook. The second, announced by Texas and probably encompassing 40 other states, did not specify the goals of large technology companies, but had to focus on Google.

Once considered as engines of economic growth, companies in the social media, Internet research, e-commerce and other digital technologies have become increasingly defensive against such failures as privacy breaches. their huge market.

Politicians, including President Donald Trump, consumers, other companies and regulators have criticized this power.

"I open a Facebook survey to determine if their actions have compromised consumer data, reduced the quality of consumer choice, or increased the price of advertising," tweeted New York Attorney General Letitia James.

"The largest social media platform in the world must follow the law," he said.

The Facebook survey will include New York, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee and the District of Columbia.

The Texas Attorney General's Office, Ken Paxton, said he was leading a survey of big tech companies, but did not mention it.

The investigation, which includes more than 40 state attorneys general, should focus on Google, sources close to Reuters told Reuters. A second source said earlier that Google's research would analyze the intersection of privacy and competition.

Alphabet, a Google parent, said Friday that the Justice Ministry had requested late August information and documents relating to the company's previous antitrust investigations. The company added in a securities presentation that it expects similar inquiries from the attorneys general and cooperates with the regulators.

At the federal level, the Ministry of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission are investigating Facebook, Google, Apple and Amazon, as well as possible antitrust violations.

Trump has asked for a more in-depth review of social media companies and Google, accusing them of removing conservative votes online without presenting any evidence.

Facebook shares fell by nearly 2% in the afternoon. The actions of Google, Apple and Amazon have hardly changed.

Will Castleberry, vice president of Facebook's national and local policies, said after the announcement in New York that the company would work constructively with attorneys general.

"People have several options for each of the services we provide. We understand that if we stop innovating, people can easily leave our platform. This highlights the competition we face, not only in the United States, but around the world, "Castleberry said.


Technology companies have been the subject of repeated criticism in recent years. Facebook, for example, has been slow to suppress hate speech and recently paid a $ 5 billion deal to share data from 87 million users with the now-defunct British policy consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica. . In particular, the consultant's clients participated in Trump's 2016 election campaign.

The social media platform, which once owned rivals Instagram and WhatsApp and has more than 1.5 billion daily users, has been criticized for allowing misleading publications and "fake news" for its service.

Google has faced accusations that its web search service, which has become so dominant that it has become a verb, takes consumers to its own products at the expense of its competitors.

"We look forward to working with attorneys general to answer questions about our company and the dynamic technology sector," Google spokesman Jose Castaneda said in an email.

Amazon, the world's largest online retailer, has been accused of unfair tactics towards third-party sellers on its website, which must pay for advertising to compete with Amazon's own and private label sales.

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