DES MOINES, Iowa — Facebook is again coming under fire.
More than two billion people log onto Facebook, Instagram and Facebook Messenger every single day. Now, Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller is joining eight other attorneys general in an investigation into whether or not Facebook is using all that traffic to break the law.
The attorneys general say they want to know what impact Facebook is having on other companies and the free markets. Among the things they are investigating is whether Facebook has acted to stifle competition, expose consumer data and manipulate advertising rates. All of those would be illegal under American antitrust laws.
Miller said he is not making any accusations but that it is time for a thorough review of Facebook.
“Facebook’s dominance over communications and information is concerning, and that’s why we are joining this bipartisan coalition. Our goal is to determine whether Facebook’s actions may have endangered user data, reduced the quality of consumers’ choices, or stifled competition,” said Miller.
Because this is an investigation and not a lawsuit, the governor’s office said Gov. Kim Reynolds did not have to sign off on it, per her agreement with Miller.
Meanwhile, a similar investigation into Google is expected to be announced next week. At least 12 states are joining Texas’ lead in that investigation. Among the topics that investigation will review is whether Google is killing off online publishers by limiting exposure.