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Google’s Search Tactics Warrant Antitrust Scrutiny: Commentary

May 9 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Justice Department stood up for consumers last month by requiring Google Inc. to submit to significant conditions on its takeover of ITA Software Inc., a company that specializes in organizing airline data. The department’s enforcement action was important. Almost 40 percent of all online commerce relates to travel, according to comScore Inc., and ITA provides key flight search technology for Orbitz, Kayak.com, Expedia Inc.’s TripAdvisor and many other travel Websites.

According to the department, without the judicially monitored restrictions, Google’s control over this key asset “would have substantially lessened competition among providers of comparative flight search websites in the United States, resulting in reduced choice and less innovation for consumers.”