Michigan Joins State Attorneys General Investigation Into Facebook

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Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel joined 46 other state attorneys general in launching an anti-trust investigation against Facebook this week.

“Facebook has played a major role in shaping our global online economy as one of the largest social media platforms in the world. It is illegal for a business to use its market power to engage in anticompetitive conduct in an effort to achieve or maintain a monopoly,” Nessel said in a statement.

She also added, “Our personal data is the biggest commodity in today’s online economy and, as the chief law enforcement officer of the state, it is my duty to ensure Michigan residents’ personal data doesn’t continue to be pillaged in a monopolist’s quest to control social media and advertising markets.”

In September, New York State Attorney General Letitia James started the initial anti-trust investigation with seven other state attorney generals.

“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. “As we continue our investigation, we will use every investigative tool at our disposal to determine whether Facebook’s actions stifled competition and put users at risk.”

An April poll done by NBC News and The Wall Street Journal showed 60 percent of Americans don’t trust Facebook with their personal information.

A day after Michigan joined the bi-partisan investigation, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified on Capitol Hill for over six hours on the company’s cryptocurrency plan. Zuckerberg told Congress his vision for Libra, which launched in June, is to allow people to send each other money just as easy as it is to send text messages. However, he admitted Facebook wasn’t the “ideal messenger” and more work needed to be done to build trust in the cryptocurrency.

Other topics the billionaire testified on pertained to election security, fake news and data privacy.

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Zachery Schmidt is the digital editor of Battleground State NewsFollow Zachery on Twitter.

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