Most U.S. states have joined the antitrust investigation into Facebook, New York Attorney General Letitia James announced Tuesday.
“Our investigation now has the support of 47 attorneys general from around the nation, who are all concerned that Facebook may have put consumer data at risk, reduced the quality of consumers’ choices, and increased the price of advertising,” James said in a statement.
James is leading the investigation along with the attorneys general of Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee and the District of Columbia. She also named 31 states and Guam as joining the investigation, which she announced last month on behalf of eight states and Washington, D.C. And she said a number of other states could not yet confirm their participation.
Facebook’s home state of California was not on the list. When reached for comment, state AG Xavier Becerra’s office said Tuesday it could neither confirm nor deny a potential or ongoing investigation.
The world’s largest social network is also being probed for possible antitrust violations by the Federal Trade Commission, the company acknowledged in July. And several news outlets have reported that the Department of Justice also is investigating Facebook.
The investigations come amid multiple, bipartisan calls for Facebook and other tech giants to be held accountable for myriad problems — from election interference to censorship to privacy issues — that have risen as their power has grown.
“Big Tech must account for its actions,” said Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, a Republican, in a statement. “I am proud to join my Republican and Democrat colleagues in efforts to ensure Tech Giants can no longer hide behind complexity and complicity.”
Presidential candidates such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, have also called for breaking up the big tech companies. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has pushed back against that sentiment and has threatened to sue the United States over it, according to a recording of his discussion with employees, which was leaked to the Verge.
Last week, Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes — who earlier this year called for Facebook to be broken up — launched a $10 million anti-monopoly fund. In May, Hughes wrote in a New York Times op-ed that politicians, activists and scholars are all sounding the alarm over monopolies, and that “Mark Zuckerberg cannot fix Facebook, but our government can.”
Facebook has not yet returned a request for comment.