Google ITA Purchase Probed by US
US regulators announced today that they will open an investigation into the proposed purchase of ITA software by Google, the search engine giant. The company announced the purchase last year but thus far it has been blocked by several lawsuits filed by online travel sites who say that the purchase will give the search engine an unfair advantage over their companies.
Now the US regulators will get involved after being asked by a panel of judges to determine if the purchase will create a monopoly. Normally regulators would not be involved in such a purchase because it stands under different laws regarding internet companies but this time travel companies in the US are going to be affected.
Google maintains that they are not entering in to the online travel business but would simply like to be able to offer increased search results for their users. However, the travel companies have said that the more likely scenario is that Google will add in flights and other travel packages and put themselves ahead of other companies.
Now the decision will be made based on what the federal regulators believe to be the truth. Google has already urged the government to allow the purchase but the regulators are not going to be swayed by the comments from the company.
It will likely take the better part of 2011 before the commission is able to come to an agreement on the purchase. Until that time ITA hangs in the balance.
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