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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.

Colonial Pipeline to restore service after hack

Photo: Bloomberg via Getty Images

Colonial Pipeline will restart its operations around 5 p.m. ET Wednesday, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm announced.

Why it matters: At least 11 states and Washington, D.C., have experienced gas shortages since a ransomware attack forced the critical pipeline running from Texas to New York to shut down on Saturday.

2 hours ago - Health

CDC panel endorses Pfizer vaccine for 12- to 15-year-olds

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

An advisory panel for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday endorsed the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for 12-to 15-year-olds, following the FDA's emergency use authorization.

Why it matters: Approval from the CDC panel was the final step needed before inoculations could be offered at any vaccination site for this age group.

  • Pfizer has said its vaccine is 100% effective at protecting against COVID-19 in a trial of more than 2,200 children between the ages of 12 and 15.