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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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work