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DOJ Seeks Facebook Antitrust Probe

Attorney General Barr, Facebook, investigations, Department of Justice, antitrust

U.S. Attorney General William Barr is urging the U.S. Justice Department to investigate Facebook to determine whether it violated federal antitrust laws, Reuters reported on Wednesday (Sept. 25). 

This new investigation comes on the heels of a Federal Trade Commission probe seeking to discover if Facebook stifled competition.

The new antitrust investigation marks the fourth legal inquiry of Facebook. 

Another investigation of Facebook was launched earlier in September by a bipartisan group of attorneys general led by Democratic New York Attorney General Letitia James. Attorneys general from 39 states, as well as Puerto Rico, Guam and the District of Columbia, have all signed a letter to the FTC asking it to look at a large range of factors when it comes to how Big Tech is harming consumers.

“We continue to engage in bipartisan conversations about the unchecked power of large tech companies,” James said in a statement to The Wall Street Journal on Sept. 3. “The attorneys general involved have concerns over the control of personal data by large tech companies and will hold them accountable for anti-competitive practices that endanger privacy and consumer data.”

There was also a July meeting with AGs from eight states with U.S. Attorney General William Barr to discuss Big Tech’s ramifications.

Facebook isn’t alone when it comes to scrutiny. A Google investigation was announced at a press conference on Sept. 9 outside the U.S. Supreme Court. A bipartisan group of three dozen state attorneys general is also joining the investigation.

Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is leading the Google probe. At issue is Google’s impact on digital advertising markets and the possible harm this might have caused to consumers, the sources told the newspaper.

Facebook recently paid $5 billion to settle charges from FTC allegations over deceptive practices that lured users to give up their personal data. The company is still under investigation regarding its purchase of Instagram.

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NEW PYMNTS STUDY: LEVERAGING THE DIGITAL BANKING SHIFT – SEPTEMBER 2020  

The September 2020 Leveraging The Digital Banking Shift Study, PYMNTS examines consumers’ growing use of online and mobile tools to open and manage accounts as well as the factors that are paramount in building and maintaining trust in the current economic environment. The report is based on a survey of nearly 2,200 account-holding U.S. consumers.

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