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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Multiple states are investigating Apple for potentially deceiving consumers, according to a March document uncovered by a tech watchdog group.

The big picture: Apple is already facing antitrust investigations from U.S. House lawmakers and the European Union. Meanwhile, states have stepped up their scrutiny of Big Tech, including through multi-state antitrust probes of Facebook and Google.

Details: The Texas attorney general may sue Apple for violating the state’s deceptive trade practices law in connection with a multi-state investigation, according to the document, obtained by the Tech Transparency Project through a public records request and shared with Axios Thursday.

  • The Texas AG’s Consumer Protection Division “initiated this investigation for enforcement purposes. If violations are uncovered, CPD will initiate enforcement proceedings. Accordingly, the OAG anticipates litigation in this matter,” the document reads.
  • The state’s consumer protection law polices practices deemed false, deceptive or misleading.

It's not clear what specific practices Texas or any other states are looking into or the current status of the investigation. The document doesn't describe the investigation in detail or identify the other states involved.

  • The Tech Transparency Project, a critic of Big Tech's power and the research arm of the Campaign for Accountability, received the document in response to a March request for communications related to Apple or with Apple employees or representatives .

What they're saying: A spokesperson for Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said it is "long-standing OAG policy" not to "comment on, confirm or deny any pending or potential investigations." (Nevertheless, Texas has been public about its role in investigating Google.)

  • Apple declined comment.

Go deeper

Texas early voting surpasses 2016's total turnout

Early voting in Austin earlier this month. Photo: Sergio Flores/Getty Images

Texas' early and mail-in voting totals for the 2020 election have surpassed the state's total voter turnout in 2016, with 9,009,850 ballots already cast compared to 8,969,226 in the last presidential cycle.

Why it matters: The state's 38 Electoral College votes are in play — and could deliver a knockout blow for Joe Biden over President Trump — despite the fact that it hasn't backed a Democrat for president since 1976.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
14 mins ago - Economy & Business

Coinbase opens at $102 billion valuation on first day of public trading

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase opened trading on Wednesday at $381 per share, giving it a fully diluted market value of around $102 billion.

Why it matters: This is a slight premium to the most recent private trades for Coinbase stock, and more than 50% higher than the reference price set last night by the Nasdaq.

46 mins ago - World

U.S. intelligence expects a stormy year in the Middle East

A technical team explodes remnant ammunition near Sirte, Libya. Photo: Mohammed Ertima/Anadolu Agency via Getty

Ongoing conflicts, economic crises and the fallout from COVID-19 will likely destabilize several countries in the Middle East in 2021 and could even put some on the brink of collapse, according to the U.S. intelligence community's annual Threat Assessment Report, released on Tuesday.

Why it matters: The report is the most comprehensive assessment the intelligence community produces every year. It paints a portrait of conflicts, insurgencies, terrorism and protest movements across the Middle East.