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Washington, DC – Today, Senator Mike Lee (R-UT), Ranking Member of the Antitrust Subcommittee of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, commented on the Department of Justice’s decision to impose stringent conditions on Google’s acquisition of ITA Software and reiterated his call for antitrust oversight of Google’s search-related businesses.
“Today’s announcement by the Department of Justice (DOJ) outlining rigorous conditions for Google’s proposed acquisition of ITA Software is an important step in applying antitrust laws to the company’s predominant position in the realm of Internet search,” said Senator Lee. “As the DOJ recognized, Google’s unique presence as an Internet gatekeeper raises serious concerns about activities that may limit competition, reduce consumer choice, and thwart innovation. Continued scrutiny is essential as Google extends its reach into a variety of vertical search markets and online services. As a member of the Antitrust Subcommittee, I will continue to work to ensure vibrant competition in this and other areas of our economy.”
On March 10, 2011, Senator Lee sent a letter to the Subcommittee Chairman Senator Herb Kohl calling for oversight hearings into Google’s practices that could harm competition, and specifically pointed to the acquisition of ITA Software, which powers sites like Kayak, Travelocity, and Orbitz.
“As you know, the DOJ is in the process of determining whether to approve Google’s proposed acquisition of ITA Software – a deal that could potentially provide Google with the ability to control the travel search vertical market,” Senator Lee wrote.
“Oversight by our Subcommittee is essential in helping free markets flourish in this important area of our economy. Ensuring robust competition will benefit consumers, spur innovation, and lead to job creation in our nation’s high-tech Internet economy,” Senator Lee added. “Vigorous antitrust enforcement is almost always preferable to a system of government regulations, which will inevitably be more costly and less efficient than a free market unencumbered by anticompetitive restrictions.”