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Barnett: AAI Underscores Why Google-ITA Should Be Blocked

In response to AAI’s paper today on Google-ITA (see “Google/ITA Merger Could Lead to Unregulatable Monopoly”) Tom Barnett, counsel to Expedia (a FairSearch member) stated:

“AAI’s analysis highlights that combining Google’s general search dominance with ITA’s flight search dominance could enable Google to dominate the online travel search market. The paper further describes many of the ways in which Google’s proposed acquisition of ITA could harm competition and consumers, including by undermining users’ ability to find the best travel options, raising travel advertising costs, and increasing airfares. With respect to potential remedies, the paper concurs in the assessment that behavioral remedies would be ‘tricky’ and could be ‘nearly impossible to police.’ This analysis underscores our view that the best remedy is to block the transaction.”