RALEIGH – North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein will join the “leadership team” that will lead 47 states attorneys general in a bipartisan investigation of social media Facebook.

“I’m increasingly concerned about the way the internet has come to be dominated by a few major tech companies,” Stein said in the announcement.

“When companies in any industry get too big and too powerful, they can use that power to harm their consumers and to damage markets. We need to protect competition in markets so that consumers benefit from choices, their privacy is protected, and the next generation of tech innovators aren’t snuffed out by big, powerful companies.”

The initial focus is Facebook, according to announcements from Stein and New York Attorney General Letitia James.

The group of attorneys general swelled froma handfull when a probe was announced in September.

Joining Stein and James on the leadership team – a term used by James – are:

Phil Weiser (CO), Ashley Moody (FL), Tom Miller (IA), Doug Peterson (NE), Dave Yost (OH), Herbert Slatery (TN), and Karl Racine (DC).

“After continued bipartisan conversations with attorneys general from around the country, today I am announcing that we have vastly expanded the list of states, districts, and territories investigating Facebook for potential antitrust violations,” James said.

“Our investigation now has the support of 47 attorneys general from around the nation, who are all concerned that Facebook may have put consumer data at risk, reduced the quality of consumers’ choices, and increased the price of advertising. As we continue our investigation, we will use every investigative tool at our disposal to determine whether Facebook’s actions stifled competition and put users at risk.”

Participating attorneys general include those from: Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, and the territory of Guam.