California — which houses Google’s headquarters in Mountain View — was the most notable holdout in the multi-state group, and Democratic Attorney General Xavier Becerra has repeatedly declined to answer questions about why the state wasn’t a participant.
The California antitrust probe is a separate investigation from the multi-state effort, two of the individuals said. All of the individuals spoke on condition of anonymity to talk openly about a confidential probe. Alabama is now the only state that is not investigating the company.
It was not immediately clear what aspect of Google's business California is targeting. A spokesperson for California Attorney General Xavier Becerra declined to comment. The spokesperson, Sarah Lovenheim, said it is office policy to not confirm or deny the existence of investigations.
The Justice Department in August opened its own antitrust investigation and has been working closely with the states. The federal agency is expected to file a suit against the company as soon as next month, though whether the states will join that effort or proceed with their own remains an open question. DOJ is looking at allegations the company has monopolized the advertising technology market and used exclusive contracts to maintain its dominance in search.