Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Government May Sue Google to Block ITA Deal

Regulators at the U.S. Department of Justice are mulling a lawsuit against search giant Google over its proposed $700 million acquisition of ITA Software, the company behind many airline ticket and booking sites.

Bloomberg reported today that agency staffers are preparing documents for use in a possible case against Google, but a decision on whether or not to bring a case hasn’t been made. Google–clearly eager to get the deal closed, as it has been six months since it first moved to acquire ITA in July–invoked a federal law that gives the government 30 days to rule thumbs up or thumbs down.

Since then numerous companies, as varied as Microsoft, Expedia and Travelocity, have opposed the deal and formed a coalition called to air concerns that Google could stop other companies that depend on ITA’s technology from using it, though Google has said it will continue to offer licenses after the deal closes. Orbitz Worldwide supports is neutral on the deal.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik