California is just one of two states that are not joining the anti-trust investigation into Google. According to reports, it is not clear as to why the attorneys general of Alabama and California are not taking part in the multi-state antitrust investigation.
The two attorneys generals are Xavier Becerra and Steve Marshal of California and Alabama respectively. A representative of the California Attorney General’s Office says that despite the state attorney general’s decision not to take part in the investigation, the state is still deeply concerned and committed to fighting anticompetitive behavior.
The representative, however, did not explicitly comment on the Google investigation or any other related investigation for that matter. As for the attorney general of Alabama, the press representatives have not responded on the issue at all.
“California remains deeply concerned and committed to fighting anticompetitive behavior,” a representative of the California Attorney General’s Office said in an emailed statement. “Regarding this investigation or any other, to protect the integrity of potential and ongoing investigations, we cannot provide comment.”
Earlier this week, the attorneys general of 48 states including the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have agreed to investigate Google’s practices. This is to find out whether the tech giant has affected any of its competitors in the online advertising industry. Leading the investigation is Ken Paxton, the attorney general of Texas and New York's attorney general was the first to announce.
Becerra’s refusal, or at least delay, to join the anti-trust investigation is being hurled with controversies, especially since it has been known that Google is one of the top contributors to the attorney general’s recent campaigns. In 2016, Google was said to have contributed $US10,200 to his re-election campaign as a member of the House of Representatives. This contribution makes Google as the 8th largest contributor of the attorney general. In 2018, Google has also contributed $7,300 to Becerra’s campaign for attorney general.
With those facts, politicians have been condemning Becerra’s lack of participation in the investigation of Google. Google’s investigation is one of the numerous antitrust investigations against tech giants including Facebook, Apple and Amazon.
“Attorney General Becerra’s refusal to join the bipartisan investigation into the tech giants is embarrassing,” California Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham, a Republican, said in an emailed statement. “California deserves to be at the table.”