Consumers Win: Coalition Applauds DOJ Challenge to Google-ITA Deal

The FairSearch.org coalition of online businesses that include Expedia and Sabre Holdings, launched in October 2010 to support competition, transparency and innovation in online search, recently issued a statement regarding the U.S. Justice Department’s (DOJ) decision to bring an enforcement action against, and impose conditions on, Google’s acquisition of ITA Software. ITA Software is the flight search technology provider that powers many of the Internet’s most popular travel sites.

Below is an excerpt from FairSearch.org’s response to the DOJ’s decision to challenge Google’s $700 million acquisition of ITA Software:

“Today’s antitrust enforcement action by the Justice Department is a clear win for consumers and competition in the marketplace,” said FairSearch.org. “Google’s attempt to acquire unrestricted control over ITA, which would have violated antitrust laws, has been thwarted—representing a significant step in the right direction.”

“… the proposed judicial decree requires Google to continue to license ITA’s technology, to continue to develop that technology, and to respect the confidential and proprietary information of the licensees. Moreover, the decree includes ongoing monitoring and reporting requirements that cover potential abuses by Google relating to the decree. Among other things, this provision helps ensure that the Department [of Justice] will continue to learn more about concerns with Google’s anticompetitive behavior. Overall, this enforcement action represents a significant milestone in antitrust enforcement against Google.”

Members of FairSearch.org include Expedia Inc., and its brands Expedia.com, Hotwire and TripAdvisor; Farelogix Inc.; Foundem; Kayak, and its brand SideStep; Level...com; Microsoft; and Sabre Holdings, and its brands Travelocity and Zuji.

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