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 Googles 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.