Tech giants Facebook and Google are facing more scrutiny into their business practices. A multi-state antitrust investigation, led by New York State Attorney General Letitia James, is focusing on "Facebook's dominance in the industry and the potential anticompetitive conduct stemming from that dominance," she said Friday. Other states involved in the bipartisan initiative, says James, who is a Democrat, include the attorneys general of Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, and the District of Columbia. Another collective of states, led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, plans to announce the launch of a multi-state investigation "into whether large tech companies have engaged in anticompetitive behavior that stifled competition, restricted access, and harmed consumers," the attorney general's office announced Friday. That probe, which will be announced Monday outside the U.S. Supreme Court, will include an investigation of Google and its sway in the digital advertising market, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.
A group of states is investigating Facebook for potential violations of antitrust law, the office of the New York attorney general said in a statement today. The investigation is being led by New York Attorney General Letitia James, and it includes the attorneys general from Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, and the District of Columbia. "Even the largest social media platform in the world must follow the law and respect consumers," James said in the statement. "I am proud to be leading a bipartisan coalition of attorneys general in investigating whether Facebook has stifled competition and put users at risk." The statement said the investigation will focus on whether Facebook "endangered consumer data, reduced the quality of consumers' choices, or increased the price of advertising."
The Trump administration wants to use indictments, along with export controls and other policy tools, as part of an arsenal to counter Chinese theft of trade and technology secrets, which U.S. officials increasingly view as part of national security, The Wall Street Journal has reported. That has meant a more aggressive effort to convert corporate squabbles into criminal charges. The federal investigation, first reported by The Wall Street Journal, into whether Huawei stole trade secrets from U.S. business partners arose from civil lawsuits, including one in which the Shenzhen-based company was accused of misappropriating robotic technology from wireless-network operator T-Mobile US Inc. In November, the U.S. said it indicted two companies in China and Taiwan on charges of stealing semiconductor-design secrets from Idaho-based chip maker Micron Technology Inc., based almost entirely on litigation that Micron had filed in California courts a year earlier. In both cases, the entry of federal prosecutors ratcheted up global attention and the stakes in what had until then been less noticed civil filings.
Last Wednesday, when three-quarters of America's eligible voters woke up to the sick realization that an authoritarian boor they didn't support would soon take the same oath of office as George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, there was some cheerier election news tucked deep inside the nation's B-sections. More than half a dozen over-zealous law enforcement officials, from Houston to Phoenix to Birmingham, Ala., were bounced out of office by reformers seeking to improve the criminal justice system. Harris County, Texas, which dominates national statistics in exonerations of wrongfully convicted innocents, replaced controversial incumbent District Attorney Devon Anderson with the county's first Democrat in four decades, Kim Ogg. Maricopa County Sherriff Joe Arpaio, the power-mad anti-immigration crusader and Donald Trump backer, was sent packing after 23 conflict-ridden years, in part due to the $3 million poured into the race by liberal moneybags George Soros. It turns out that when you focus political energy locally against those who have grown accustomed to wielding police power with impunity, it's possible to flip the usual script.