Washington, DC, January 13, 2011 –– In response to news reports that the Department of Justice may take action against Google’s acquisition of ITA software, Steve Pociask, President of the American Consumer Institute, made the following statement:
“We are encouraged by the reports that the Justice Department may seek to block Google from acquiring ITA Software. Google’s acquisition of ITA would give it dominant control of online travel search, which would lead to less choice and higher prices for consumers. Google’s dominance has reached a tipping point in the online marketplace, and this deal would give ownership to the online databases used by many of the major airlines and Google’s competitors in the travel search marketplace. In addition, it would give Google an inside track to any innovations made by its competitors to the travel search marketplace through existing licensing arrangements with ITA Software. With millions of Americans using the Internet to reserve travel arrangements, conduct business, visit relatives or enjoy a family vacation, too much is at stake to allow Google to control the market, as well as potentially raise the cost of travel and impede innovation.
The Department of Justice should challenge this deal to protect the interests of consumers, who want market choice and competitive ticket pricing.”