October 12, 2016, Atlanta - Chris Carr, left, address reporters with Governor Nathan Deal, right, during a press conference where Carr was appointed the next Attorney General.(DAVID BARNES / DAVID.BARNES@AJC.COM)

Georgia declines to join nationwide Facebook antitrust investigation

Nearly every state is working together in an antitrust investigation into Facebook — except Georgia.

Georgia is one of three states that isn’t participating in the Facebook probe.

Attorney General Chris Carr’s office confirmed Tuesday that Georgia hasn't joined in the inquiry, though it could in the future if justified by the facts of the case.

Carr's office is involved in a separate multistate investigation of Facebook's data privacy practices, said spokeswoman Katie Byrd on Wednesday. She said she couldn't provide details of that case.

Facebook contributed $12,900 to Carr’s campaign leading up to the 2018 election, making it one of his largest corporate donors, along with cigarette maker Altria and the state’s nursing home lobby.

A bipartisan group of 47 other attorneys general are backing the investigation, including Southern states such as Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina and South Carolina. The New York attorney general’s office, which is leading the investigation, declined to identify the other two states besides Georgia that aren’t participating.

The inquiry is looking into whether Facebook is stifling competitionlimiting consumer choice, raising the cost of advertising and mishandling consumer data.

Carr previously joined 49 attorneys general into a similar antitrust investigation of Google’s business practices, including its control of online advertising and search traffic. Google contributed $3,500 to Carr’s campaign.

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