California AG silent on why he wouldn’t join nationwide probe against Google
Sep 12, 2019
lacortenews.com

California AG silent on why he wouldn’t join nationwide probe against Google

The attorneys general of Alabama and California have yet to explain why they are the only two states not participating in an antitrust investigation into tech giant Google.

The story: A coalition of attorneys general from 48 states, Puerto Rico, and D.C., announced the antitrust probe against Google on Monday. The office of the California Attorney General released a statement claiming only that California remains "committed to fighting anticompetitive behavior," the office of the Alabama Attorney General has not responded at all on why it is not joining 48 other states probing Google for suspected anti-competitive business practices.

“California remains deeply concerned and committed to fighting anti-competitive behavior,” said a representative of California Attorney General Xavier Becerra in an email. “Regarding this investigation or any other, to protect the integrity of potential and ongoing investigations, we cannot provide comment.”

But Becerra's refusal to join the massive investigation into Google raises serious questions about whether the decision was politically motivated considering the tech giant is a major donor in California politics and donated $7, 300 to Becerra's own campaign for attorney general in 2018. Google has also donated $29,000 to Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom, the Washington Free Beacon reported.

“Why would they sit on the sidelines? It’s curious to see them take a walk on this one. We have to assume this was a political decision,” said William Kovacic, professor of law at George Washington University and former chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, The Los Angeles Times reported.

From 2010 through 2016, Becerra’s campaign received $23,000 from Google’s corporate political action committee, Google Inc. Between 2010 and 2016, Becerra received $23,000 in campaign donations from Google. Records suggest that Google is Becerra's 8th biggest contributor.

Becerra has refused to say why he wouldn't participate in the investigation.

John Simpson, a former privacy and technology project director at Consumer Watchdog, a nonprofit advocacy group, said: “I just do not understand why California is not a part of this effort. Google has monopolized the market and really needs to be held accountable for that.”

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