“Just like individual citizens, corporations must be held accountable for following the law,” Attorney General Hill said. “And just like individual citizens, corporations also enjoy the presumption of innocence until facts prove otherwise. In this case, we must follow the facts to determine whether Facebook has engaged in anti-competitive behavior in violation of state and federal antitrust laws.”
Anticompetitive behavior may hurt consumers, Attorney General Hill noted, by leaving them with fewer choices and higher prices. A social media company, for example, might be able to charge higher prices for advertising if it successfully thwarts competitors from gaining a foothold in the marketplace.
“To protect consumers and the free market, we must promote conditions under which all entities may compete on a level playing field in accordance with the rule of law,” Attorney General Hill said.
The multistate investigation is also looking into whether Facebook has compromised consumers’ personal data and privacy.