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Google's possible purchase of ITA Software Inc. may lead to an antitrust investigation

It's well understood that Google is the world's most popular search engine. The company runs over one million data centers and servers around the world, and is well known by computer users of all levels from beginners to professionals. But as of late, this success is being viewed as internet dominance by both the Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department. 

Google is an American multinational public corporation that runs the world's most successful search engine, and also owns the Android operating system. The company is also involved in cloud computing and advertising technologies. It was incorporated as a privately held company in 1998, with its initial public offering in 2004. The company has grown tremendously over the years, and now processes over one billion search requests per day. 

Now, Google is looking to expand its presence even more by purchasing ITA Software Inc., which is an airline ticketing software company. This transaction will cost Google $700 million if it decides to go through with the purchase. 

But this purchase could cost Google more than just the $700 million. According to recent reports, the FTC is looking to launch an antitrust investigation of Google's internet dominance, but the investigation will be pursued only if the Justice Department decides whether it will challenge the ITA Software purchase. 

The FTC and the Justice Department are not the only agencies looking into Google's web dominance. Last November, the European Commission launched a similar investigation, and last week, Microsoft filed a complaint with European antitrust regulators because of Google's growing presence and power over web search competition. 

According to Bloomberg, the Justice Department is expected to announce its decision soon, but there is no set time or date at this point. 

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How does this work?
By farsawoos on 4/5/2011 11:43:27 AM , Rating: 2
The markets that Google has entered as a business are so varied, I guess I don't really understand what about those relationships brings them in sights of the AT Busters. I guess there is something that could be said for ensuring that Google isn't actively keeping the search engine market a one-pony show, but they've never done anything to make me suspect that. As far as the rest of their interests, they're all over the place and seemingly very competitive: SaaS, advertising, client OS development, voice services, etc. Much of this, I might add, they keep in "beta" status free to users for a very long time and have only recently trudged out into the murky waters of enterprise SaaS and packaged solutions.

I'm sure this investigation is child to an entirely separate regulatory process as other recent mergers, but I just find it absurd that the suits will go after Google for providing a whole gamut of services for [mostly] free to anyone who wants them, but they'll allow things like the ComCast/NBC (and probably the ATT/TMo) merger without any qualms. :/

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