A new judicial front opened on Friday (September 6th) for Facebook: a coalition of American states, including New York, has launched a vast investigation into the management of users' personal data and its commercial practices, especially in advertising.
"This survey focuses on Facebook's dominance in the industry (social networking) and the resulting potentially anti-competitive conduct," said Letitia James, New York State Attorney General.
"We will use any tool at our disposal to determine whether the actions of Facebook may have endangered the personal data of consumers, reduce the quality of the choices that are offered to them or have increased the price of advertising," said the Democrat .
Record $ 5 billion fine
Facebook was sentenced in late July to a record $ 5 billion fine by the FTC, the US regulatory authority for communications, for failing to protect the personal data of its users.
Acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp messaging are also being investigated by federal authorities, who wonder if they were made by Mark Zuckerberg's group to stifle competition.
Facebook, the world's largest social network, has consistently rejected monopoly charges, arguing that consumers have a lot of choices about how to interact online.
Google also in the viewfinder of the federal authorities
Besides New York, Colorado, Iowa, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio and Tennessee are the other states involved plus the federal capital, Washington.
This investigation promises to be the first in a series of state antitrust investigations against the Silicon Valley giants.
"Attorneys General representing a broad coalition of states will announce Monday (next) a survey to determine whether large technology groups have resorted to anti-competitive practices to stifle competition, restrict access (to their platforms) and affect the consumers, "said Ken Paxton, the attorney general of Texas, a Republican.
In addition to these state-led investigations, Facebook and Google are also in the viewfinder of federal authorities. US authorities are worried about the dominant role of a handful of tech giants on communications and commerce.