Even before an acquisition was announced, talks between Google and ITA software were causing a stir in the travel industry. Once Google announced its intent to acquire the company at the beginning of July for $700 million, plenty of talk about regulatory obstacles ensued.
Five days ago, Google and ITA Software announced that they’d reached a "definitive agreement" covering an acquisition. Only – if you hadn’t already guessed – it looks like a government agency may have a thing or two to say, as a new report indicates that antitrust regulators will take a close look at the transaction.
The main concern is that Google might eventually withhold flight data (which ITA provides) from its search rivals (Bing is one ITA customer). The search giant’s only promised to honor existing agreements so far.
The U.S. Department of Justice is in the early stages of an investigation into how Apple runs its digital music business, according to several reports. While the probe is broad in scope, reportedly of particular interest to the Feds are alleged heavy handed tactics used against labels that participated in Amazon’s Daily Deal promotion, which Hypebot reported in early March.
Depending on how you look at it, Google’s either in a whole lot of trouble, or it’s gotten a lucky break. The consumer advocacy group Consumer Watchdog went after the search giant again today, calling for the Department of Justice to take action, but arguably went too far by suggesting that the company be broken up.
Quite often, a Yahoo loss works out to be a Google win, and it would come as no surprise to see the second company make the first fight its own legal battles. But Google – along with several other organizations – is attempting to help Yahoo, now, as the Department of Justice is pressing for access to certain Yahoo Mail messages.
UPDATE: As stated in a press release a Microsoft representative emailed to WebProNews, "Microsoft (Nasdaq ‘MSFT’) and Yahoo! (Nasdaq ‘YHOO’) announced today that they have received clearance for their search agreement, without restrictions, from both the U.S. Department of Justice and the European Commission, and will now turn their attention to beginning the process of implementing the deal."
The amended Google Books settlement agreement (ASA) has not impressed the U.S. Department of Justice. A statement the organization issued late yesterday praised the idea of making rare books widely available, but also maintained that there are a number of problems with the proposed deal.