Thursday, June 11, 2009

Probe of Google Book Deal Heats Up; Wall Street Journal, 6/10/09

Elizabeth Williamson, Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg, and Jessica E. Vascellero via Wall Street Journal; Probe of Google Book Deal Heats Up:

A New York publishing executive said the Justice Department is requesting documents about pricing, digital strategy and conversations with other publishers related to the Google settlement...

The Justice Department's escalation of its book search inquiry is the latest in a series of antitrust probes of Google's business launched by the department and the Federal Trade Commission, the government's two main antitrust regulators. Taken together, the inquiries represent a broad government examination of the dominant technology company of the decade.

People close to Google say the company considers the investigations part of a broader push by new antitrust regulators to step up scrutiny of the technology industry after a lull during the Bush administration.

In response, Google appears to be stepping up efforts to press its case with lawmakers and regulators. The company's chief legal officer, David Drummond, travels to Washington Wednesday to defend the book search deal in meetings with lawmakers and copyright advocates.

Google's effort to avoid anti-trust trouble could hinge on its willingness to strike concessions or scale back certain aspects of its plans to satisfy regulators' concerns. At the same time, Google is working to counter efforts by rivals -- including Microsoft Corp. -- to portray it as a threat to competition or consumer privacy."

No comments: