by WorldTribune Staff, September 16, 2018
The Department of Justice said it has invited the attorneys general of 24 states to a Sept. 25 meeting to discuss whether social media companies are violating anti-trust laws.
The DOJ said it decided to host the meeting “on tech companies, competition, and the free exchange of ideas” following the congressional testimony on Sept. 5 of Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.
Google declined to send its CEO and was represented by an empty chair.
“Today, the Justice Department formally sent invitations to a bipartisan group of 24 state attorneys general that expressed an interest in attending the meeting hosted by Attorney General Jeff Sessions,” a DOJ spokesman told PJ Media on Sept. 13. “The meeting will take place here at the Department of Justice, and we look forward to having a robust dialogue with all attendees on the topic of social media platforms.”
Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry told PJ Media that investigating Facebook and Google on anti-trust and consumer protection issues “shouldn’t be a partisan issue.”
“I’ve got some Democratic AG friends that are concerned about the anti-trust position in the market in relation to the consumer,” Landry said. “The same fundamentals that allow Facebook or Google to control the free market and hurt consumers are the same fundamentals that allow them to suppress content.”
Landry accused social media companies of creating “a virtual fence around the free market.”
Chris Gacek, a senior fellow at the Family Research Council, said that “you probably only need five states” to get involved in pressuring the tech giants “and you can really mess these guys up.”
Last month, a former anti-trust lawyer for President Ronald Reagan, Larry Klayman, filed a class-action lawsuit against Apple, Facebook, Google, and Twitter, accusing them of working in concert to suppress conservative speech online. The suit brings up anti-trust claims, free speech claims, and discrimination claims, adding up to $1 billion in damages, the PJ Media report said.