Facebook’s challenges continue to grow, and not only in Washington, D.C., as 47 states start an antitrust investigation into the technology giant.
Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge joined the other attorneys general in this investigation, saying, “Major tech platforms like Facebook have thrived on the public’s willingness to share their personal information and preferences. This investigation is a deeper dive into the business practices used by Facebook to determine whether it has committed any violations of antitrust laws.”
CEO Mark Zuckerberg was on Capitol Hill Wednesday testifying before the House Financial Services Committee for six hours, CNBC reported. Congressional leaders on the committee grilled him about the company’s planned cryptocurrency, Libra.
The company’s cryptocurrency chief, David Marcus, testified three months ago on the same topic and failed to convince lawmakers Facebook would wait for proper regulations to be in place before launching its Libra project.
It seems Zuckerberg’s testimony also left lawmakers dissatisfied, CNBC reported.
“I don’t think it’s going to be that independent if Facebook has such control, and it’s their platform,” said Rep. Sylvia Garcia, D-Texas.
The social media company has come under scrutiny in recent years for how it has made use of personal data from users.
And now the investigation by 47 attorneys general is just one more issue for the company to face. The bipartisan investigation is looking into antitrust violations, Rutledge said. It will mainly concentrate on “potential anticompetitive business practices stemming from Facebook’s dominance in the industry.”
When it comes to deciding what kinds of resources to dedicate to multistate investigations like this, Rutledge said her office considers that on a case-by-case basis, looking at factors like in-house expertise and impact on Arkansans.
In September, Rutledge joined an investigation into Google with even more states involved. When asked about other tech giants being examined for future cases, the attorney general’s office said it does not disclose potential targets for investigations.
As for any negative impacts from the tech giant on Arkansans, Rutledge said since 2014 her office has received and resolved 59 complaints from users in Arkansas concerning Facebook.
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