Google to be targeted for antitrust probe if they aquire ITA Software

Google has quickly grown into a massive force in the Internet landscape. Its search engine dominates the landscape and other Google products are making inroads in ways that the government feels may potentially be anti-competative.

Bloomberg is citing sources that say that if Google acquires ITA Software Inc, then they could be considered for an antitrust investigation by the FTC.

Before proceeding with any probe, the FTC is awaiting a decision by the Justice Department on whether it will challenge Google’s planned acquisition of ITA Software Inc. as a threat to competition in the travel-information search business, said the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the matter is still confidential.

The crux of the investigation relies on the approval of the Justice Department for an acquisition by Google of ITA software. If Google does successfully acquire the company, the probe by the FTC could be on the same scale as the one Microsoft experienced roughly ten years ago.

It should be noted that if the investigation does go forward, nothing has been concluded at this point. As a Google spokesperson pointed out, competition is only a click away. This point does seem valid as the majority of Google's products are free and you are not locked into using any of their services once you begin using them.

Will an investigation actually result in any changes for Google? The answer to that is not currently known but one thing for sure is that if it does go forward, Google will be forced to pay out a hefty amount to the lawyers to defend its business practices. 

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

TechSpot: Thermaltake Level 10 GT Case Review

Next Story

iPod touch fifth generation photos surface, skepticism ensues

16 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

Neo003 said,
It happens all the time, probably they'll spilt the company.

They said this about MS, they are still one. In fact they are tightening up product groups, i.e. WP7 and Windows 7. Can be sure that WP8 will be coming out about the same time as Windows 8.

"As a Google spokesperson pointed out, competition is only a click away. This point does seem valid as the majority of Google's products are free and you are not locked into using any of their services once you begin using them."

This is incorrect. Previously you were able to log into youtube and use features like favourites, subscriptions, etc but now if you dont sign up to a google account you are restricted to just viewing videos. If thats not being forced to use google services I dont know what is.

efjay said,
"As a Google spokesperson pointed out, competition is only a click away. This point does seem valid as the majority of Google's products are free and you are not locked into using any of their services once you begin using them."

This is incorrect. Previously you were able to log into youtube and use features like favourites, subscriptions, etc but now if you dont sign up to a google account you are restricted to just viewing videos. If thats not being forced to use google services I dont know what is.


There are other alternatives to YouTube and it's certainly not a requirement to login to enjoy most of what YouTube has to offer which is watching video. It's no different now logging in to use the features than it was before save for the fact that Google as a whole is just one step closer to actually making sense of all their services and accounts.

efjay said,
"As a Google spokesperson pointed out, competition is only a click away. This point does seem valid as the majority of Google's products are free and you are not locked into using any of their services once you begin using them."

This is incorrect. Previously you were able to log into youtube and use features like favourites, subscriptions, etc but now if you dont sign up to a google account you are restricted to just viewing videos. If thats not being forced to use google services I dont know what is.

"being forced"-- It's not like they're being forced, being forced would imply a lack of choice. People have choice, if they don't want to sign up for a Google account, then don't. They simply miss out on using a service Google owns, perfectly fair.

cekicen said,
woaw, that's to much, google must give you a porsche without signup, with their psychic power...

I already signed up to youtube, why must I also sign up for a google account I neither want or need? And @Xenosion pray tell what alternatives are there to youtube since that is the dominant site for online video?

woaw, that is too much, google is giving you one login for 100 different google websites, not 100 different login to remember...

efjay said,

I already signed up to youtube, why must I also sign up for a google account I neither want or need? And @Xenosion pray tell what alternatives are there to youtube since that is the dominant site for online video?


YouTube is a Google product whether you like it or not. You don't need to create a whole nother account specifically for YouTube, you merely just consolidate or link your YouTube account to a Google one. Trust me, Google accounts are so convoluted right now that this is needed.

An alternate service? Vimeo, Metacafe, etc. They aren't as "popular" as YouTube but one could argue that they are of better quality (specifically Vimeo). It's a free market; Google/YouTube can't help the fact that they are the best in the industry.

DChiuch said,

"being forced"-- It's not like they're being forced, being forced would imply a lack of choice. People have choice, if they don't want to sign up for a Google account, then don't. They simply miss out on using a service Google owns, perfectly fair.

Seriously, are people now trying to say there is an alternative to youtube? Which other site has the sheer amount of videos youtube has, which is what makes it the most popular online video site in the first place? When a company's main operation is data mining it should raise a question why they would try to force people to sign up with their services to view content that was freely available previously.

No matter how you try and sugar coat it, its situations like these that is causing concerns about google and why increasingly the word "antitrust" is being linked with google. No other company on earth is seemingly hell bent on obtaining every last bit of information about everyone and just because they provide a few services for free doesnt mean we should look the other way as they slowly march us to the United Planet of google.

efjay said,

Seriously, are people now trying to say there is an alternative to youtube? Which other site has the sheer amount of videos youtube has, which is what makes it the most popular online video site in the first place? When a company's main operation is data mining it should raise a question why they would try to force people to sign up with their services to view content that was freely available previously.

No matter how you try and sugar coat it, its situations like these that is causing concerns about google and why increasingly the word "antitrust" is being linked with google. No other company on earth is seemingly hell bent on obtaining every last bit of information about everyone and just because they provide a few services for free doesnt mean we should look the other way as they slowly march us to the United Planet of google.


efjay said,
No other company on earth is seemingly hell bent on obtaining every last bit of information about everyone who chooses to use their services