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AllThingsD: "Google-ITA Deal Frightens Even More Legislators"

On Wednesday, Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster (D) wrote the Department of Justice offering to assist with its investigation of Google’s proposed acquisition of ITA Software. Koster, the chairman of the Antitrust Committee of the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG), wrote (click here to read the letter):

“This transaction causes me concern because of its potential impact on the ability of consumers to search on-line for competitively-priced airline fares in a market that has seen rapid growth due to consumer acceptance and utilization.”

Also on Wednesday, U.S. Reps. Howard Coble (R-NC) and Thomas Petri (R-WI) urged close scrutiny of Google’s proposed acquisition of ITA in a letter to the DOJ. Coble is a senior member of the House Judiciary Committee and the House Aviation Subcommittee. And Petri (R-WI), Chairman of the House Aviation Subcommittee. Here’s what they wrote:

“It is essential that we preserve consumer choice and fair pricing in online travel. Numerous questions have been raised, and each deserves your scrutiny. We urge careful consideration of these concerns so that the highest level of competition can be maintained in this important sector of our economy.”

These letters come on the heels of a letter from Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI) on December 1, 2010 to the DOJ, in which he wrote (read the letter here):

“This deal has the potential to greatly impact the robust online air travel search and booking markets relied on today by millions of consumers and it warrants a careful review by the Antitrust Division.”

These policymakers are a part of a growing chorus of newspapers and consumer groups who are raising concerns about Google’s proposed takeover of ITA. Read more from those who are standing up and fighting back here.