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US states announce antitrust probe of Facebook

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A coalition of US state officials announced Friday they had launched an antitrust investigation of Facebook to determine if the social media giant “has stifled competition and put users at risk.”

New York state Attorney General Letitia James released a statement announcing the action on behalf of seven other states and the District of Columbia.

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The move marks the first official US antitrust action against one of the so-called Big Tech companies — although a landmark case had targeted Microsoft back in the 1990s.

“Even the largest social media platform in the world must follow the law and respect consumers,” James said.

“We will use every investigative tool at our disposal to determine whether Facebook’s actions may have endangered consumer data, reduced the quality of consumers’ choices, or increased the price of advertising.”

Joining the action were attorneys general of Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, according to James.

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Earlier this year, the US Justice Department said it would launch a “review” of major online platforms to determine if they have stifled innovation or reduced competition.

It was not immediately clear if the states would be working in coordination with federal officials.

Facebook, by far the largest social network, in the past has claimed it is not a monopoly and that consumers have many choices for how to connect with people online.

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Rudy Giuliani harshly mocked after admitting Trump’s guilt in new WSJ column

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President Donald Trump's defense attorney took to the pages a Rupert Murdoch's newspaper to make "the case for the impeachment defense" on the eve of televised inquiry hearings.

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani lashed out enemies while clinging to conspiracy theories in his Wall Street Journal op-ed.

Giuliani began by attacking the press for reporting on Trump's solicitation of foreign election interference.

"If your only sources of news the past two months have been CNN and MSNBC, you probably think President Trump has committed some heinous act that is deserving of being drawn, quartered and carted out of the White House," Giuliani argued. "That’s a false narrative built on selectively leaked testimony from Rep. Adam Schiff’s closed-door Intelligence Committee hearings."

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CNN’s Cuomo hammers GOP lobbyist for saying Trump can fire the inspector general

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On Tuesday's edition of CNN's "Cuomo Prime Time," anchor Chris Cuomo pushed back on GOP lobbyist and American Conservative Union director Matt Schlapp for saying President Donald Trump has the right to fire Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson for transmitting the whistleblower complaint.

"Why would it be okay for the president to go after the inspector general for dealing with the whistleblower?" said Cuomo.

"Because he serves at the pleasure of the president. The president can get rid of them at any time," said Schlapp. "At the State Department during Obama's presidency, during the whole time Hillary was at the State Department, he didn't bother to pick an IG."

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Everything you need to know about the impeachment hearings in House Intelligence Committee this week

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The House Intelligence Committee will hold its first open hearings Wednesday at 10 a.m. ET and Raw Story will have a live stream on our website for those unable to watch on television. The second hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. ET on Friday.

Three key witnesses are slated to appear:

Top Ukraine diplomat Bill Taylor -- he has already testified that the White House set up a parallel foreign policy channel that ultimately undermined the US national security interests, calling it a "snake pit." His previous statements revealed how he and other diplomats “sat in astonishment” after hearing that aid was being withheld.

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