California and Alabama are the only two states that aren't participating in the giant antitrust investigation of Google, and neither is really saying why

Speaking as someone experienced with Multistate AG investigations (but not from CA so I don’t have inside knowledge). In a Multistate all the AGs decide to work together, and in the end if there are any penalties they split those up according to various formulas. States choose whether to join a Multistate, investigate individually, or do nothing. There are many reasons to do one or the other. For example, Massachusetts didn’t join the Equifax data breach Multistate — they just decided to sue Equifax instead. This might have been for political reasons and might have been because they have some unique laws that put them in a better legal position.

California has a history of not joining Multistates. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t. One big reason is that California’s population is huge and so California often will get a better monetary deal by going it alone than joining the other states (the formula tends to benefit smaller states, incentivizing them to join, while slightly detrimenting larger states — for California the detriment is larger due to the size).

As to why California isn’t talking — the standard procedure is to not talk about investigations. Maybe in this case the other AGs decided it was going to come out anyway (like Facebook did on Friday) so they decided to get ahead of it.

As for Alabama, yeah I’m guessing data center. But it’s actually rare to have a 50-state Multistate, individually state choose not to join all the time for various reasons.

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