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WLF's Glenn Lammi on the "Broader Implications" of DOJ's Google-ITA Decision

In a recent blog post for Forbes, Glenn G. Lammi, Chief Counsel (Legal Studies) at the Washington Legal Foundation (WLF), says the DOJ’s decision on Google’s bid to acquire ITA Software will “have broader implications for how this administration approaches competition in the online space.”

Lammi writes:

“It is unlikely that DOJ will approve the merger as the parties proposed it last July.  Antitrust enforcers reportedly share at least two concerns expressed by some of Google’s competitors as well as Members of Congress:

1) A Google-controlled ITA will refuse to continue licensing the software relied upon by travel search websites, will put restrictions on the software, increase the licensing price, or fail to provide updates;

2) Google will utilize its dominant position in Internet searches to push competitors’ offerings down the list of search results.”

And he concludes:

“Imposing a condition which prevents actual or perceived gaming of travel search results could prove more complicated than addressing the software licensing issue, considering the shrouded and complex nature of Google’s search technology.  In an opinion piece for Huffington Post, former FTC Commissioner Pamela Jones Harbour asked, ‘How could an auditor determine that Google was not disproportionately favoring its own businesses, if the ITA deal closes?’”

In addition to the Forbes blog, the entire piece can also be found on the WLF’s The Legal Pulse blog.