- Facebook and Google are going to be the subject of overlapping antitrust investigations by attorneys general from as many as 36 US states, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday.
- The probe into Google is reportedly due to be announced on Monday, and will be led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.
- The Journal said the Facebook probe will be led by New York Attorney General Letitia James, who has voiced concern before over how tech giants handle personal data.
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Reports last month had already suggested that states could be preparing to launch their own investigations into Facebook and Google. The Washington Post reported earlier this week that Google was to be the subject of an antitrust probe by "more than half" of the state attorneys general. According to the Journal, the Google probe is expected to be officially announced on Monday , and will comprise of roughly 36 state attorneys general led by Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. Meanwhile, a second group led by Democrat New York Attorney General Letitia James will investigate Facebook.
When contacted for comment by the Journal, James said:
"We continue to engage in bipartisan conversations about the unchecked power of large tech companies. The attorneys general involved have concerns over the control of personal data by large tech companies and will hold them accountable for anticompetitive practices that endanger privacy and consumer data."Google and Facebook were not immediately available for comment when contacted by Business Insider.
When contacted by the Journal, Facebook declined to comment. A Google spokesman restated its position that it will "continue to work constructively with regulators, including attorneys general."
Facebook was stung by a $5 billion fine from the FTC in June over its handling of user data in the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
The FTC also opened an antitrust investigation into the company over its core social media business.No formal antitrust investigation into Google has been announced yet, but reports have been circulating since May that the Department of Justice is readying a own probe into the company. The DOJ announced a broad investigation into big tech as a whole in July.