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U.S. state attorneys general ask Congress for funding for antitrust work

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FILE PHOTO: Democrat's and Republican's agreement on COVID-19 relief bill in Washington
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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Dozens of state attorneys general wrote to U.S. lawmakers on Monday to urge Congress to fund their antitrust probes, which have resulted in big lawsuits filed against Alphabet Inc's Google and Facebook Inc.

Attorneys general from 45 states and territories cited calls from Republicans and Democrats for a "more robust antitrust enforcement across a multitude of markets."

The officials did not say in the letter how much they needed.

"An appropriation of federal funding for state antitrust enforcement, particularly with respect to Big Tech litigation, will inure to the benefit of the economy and consumers throughout the United States," they wrote in a letter to Senators Amy Klobuchar and Mike Lee, the chair and top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee's antitrust panel.

The letter was also addressed to Representatives David Cicilline and Ken Buck, their counterparts in the House of Representatives.

Six of the signatories were among the leaders of antitrust probes of the Big Tech companies: Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser, Iowa's Tom Miller, Douglas Peterson of Nebraska, New York's Letitia James, Ken Paxton of Texas and Utah's Sean Reyes.

Groups of state attorneys general, which enforce state and federal law, filed two big lawsuits against Google last year and a third against Facebook.

(Reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Richard Chang)

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