Feds Checking Out Google Books Deal
The Department of Justice’s inquiry into Google’s proposed book-search settlement continues on apace with various publishers today claiming to have received civil investigative demands from the agency’s antitrust division. These are simple requests for information and indicative of little more than the DOJ’s concern that the settlement might impair competition in the market for digital books.
As one publishing industry executive told The Wall Street Journal, “The Justice Department said they were going to investigate, and this is what they do. This isn’t a criminal matter. They are looking at all aspects of the proposed settlement. It shouldn’t be overblown.”
That said, that the DOJ even has such concerns is problematic for Google (GOOG), which may find its efforts to restructure the book industry hamstrung by this evolving inquiry.