With the purchase of the $ 700 million of the travel-data provider ITA, Google is now experiencing pressure by the U.S Justice Department which wants the company to allow the government to monitor its business operations in order to win approval of the fact that it isn’t hurting the competition.
Of course, Google is resisting this ‘interference’ from the government, as one of the things that officials want to find is whether or not the company is ranking this newly acquired company much higher than its rivals in the search results.
The very fact that Google is the most popular search engine means that this ‘approach’ is entirely possible, and this is what antitrust authorities are very concerned about, and therefore want to oversee the operations of Google for this very reason.
If that’s not enough, the Federal Trade Commission is quite separately considering an antitrust investigation to review the practices of Google when it comes to the search business. And this comes in the light of both Microsoft Corp. and Kayak.com that have already accused of Google of deliberately harming competition.
Only time will tell whether the Justice Department or the Federal Trade Commission will get to review Google’s activities in regards to ITA or conduct a broader review that will span all of Google’s businesses.
And while Google and the Justice Department have already been discussing how rivals can also gain access to ITA software through licensing agreements, the state of Texas and the European Commission have already begun probes of Google’s search business.