Google Antitrust Investigation

16th June 2009 by Maura McHugh

Last week The New York Times reported that the Justice Department in the USA has issued formal request for information from Google, the Association of American Publishers, the Authors Guild and individual publishers in relation to an antitrust investigation of the Google Book Settlement.

Critics said that the settlement would unfairly grant Google a monopoly over the commercialization of millions of books.

The Justice Department’s requests do not necessarily mean that the government will oppose the settlement. But the department’s investigation could delay any approval of the settlement, antitrust specialists said.

“The government must be a lot further along with this than people thought,” said Gary Reback, a lawyer who wrote a book on antitrust. “Now, there is a big boulder sitting on the judge’s desk. It is hard to see the judge approving this if a government investigation is pending.”

Judge Denny Chin of Federal District Court in Manhattan, who is overseeing the settlement, is to hold a hearing in September.

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