Justice Department Probes Google's ITA Software Deal
12:15 pm on Sep 7, 2010 (gmt 0)
The U.S. Justice department is looking into Google Inc's takeover of airline ticketing software firm ITA Software Inc, to determine whether the deal would exert too much influence on the online travel industry, the Wall Street Journal said.
Google bought ITA Software, one of the Web's key providers of airline travel software, for $700 million in July, in a move that Google said would allow it to improve the way consumers find flight and fare information online.
The Justice department's probe is at an early stage, the Journal reported, citing people familiar with the department's review.
Does the justice department have the right people to do investigations like this fairly or will these always be superficial investigations that come down on Google because they can't fully understand what Google will do?
2:02 pm on Sep 7, 2010 (gmt 0)
I knew it, Google IS becoming skynet.
All kidding aside, Google is remorseless in jamming themselves into ANY venue, online or off, that people frequent. Does a search engine need to own the ticketing agency in order to report fares? No, they don't, and in the guise of building a better interface of all things. I don't want prices better reported to me via Google, I want a ticketing agency who will protect my personal information and that knows ticketing... that's not Google.
Scrutiny of Google's affairs is ramping up fast.
As it should be, Google is trying to own online it seems like. Even their cameras for google maps "accidentally" scan for and record residential wifi data.
2:31 pm on Sep 7, 2010 (gmt 0)
Due to Department of Homeland Security requirements, you are responsible to give the booking software your date of birth, email address, IP address, address, phone number, and in some cases your social security number.
Google now has access to this data to build intrinsic personal profiles of every user of the ITA software when combined with their online data.
Additonal information, Google can now collect about you.
•Full Name which matches the form of ID used for the travel (required) •Itinerary (required) •Date of Birth (required) •Gender (required) •Redress Number (optional) •Passport # for international itineraries (required)
3:36 pm on Sep 7, 2010 (gmt 0)
Additonal information, Google can now collect about you.
•Full Name which matches the form of ID used for the travel (required) •Itinerary (required) •Date of Birth (required) •Gender (required)
Travel is the biggest ecommerce business out there and just imagine how google can "improve" our lives by serving us ads depending on what we are planning to do in next few days/weeks/months. Seems like a short version of the movie Minority Report in the making.
If you are planning to visit Paris after 3 weeks, you may want to get bombarded with "targeted" offers from businesses looking to make your trip memorable for you as well as for the cash registers of Google. Thanks in advance for the nice offers.
4:50 pm on Sep 7, 2010 (gmt 0)
>Scrutiny of Google's affairs is ramping up fast.
Groklaw has a very interesting article on just who's behind ALL of this "scrutiny". Anyone who's followed the criminal machinations of Bill Gates and the Orcs of Redmond (and the lawyers who enable them) will not be surprised by the revelations.
5:28 pm on Sep 7, 2010 (gmt 0)
They always seem to investigate but then just let everything pass. It probably keeps a few extra jobs at the Justice Dept.
5:30 pm on Sep 7, 2010 (gmt 0)
The article on Gorklaw reads like Google sponsored editorial.
Frankly, Google's become a cancer: nasty, insidious, taking over everything and anything they can under the guise of warm and fuzzy happiness for all mankind.
They've violated copyright laws on a mass scale, hell, every business they own monetizes the work of others, especially search (but we've got no reasonable choice but to sit back and take it); they violate consumer privacy globally; god knows this list is a mile and a half long.
Scrutiny of Google's affairs is ramping up fast because they smell of guilt.
6:17 pm on Sep 7, 2010 (gmt 0)
"I actually think most people don't want Google to answer their questions. They want Google to tell them what they should be doing next."
â€œUltimately, search is not just the web but literally all of your information..."
8:12 pm on Sep 7, 2010 (gmt 0)
I've been following Groklaw for years. It's one of the most prominent independent blogs in the tech field--with journalism awards backing it up. And what Groklaw has done here, is document (with independent research) the connections between Google's persecutors.
And yes, PJ has been accused, repeatedly, of being a shill for one side or the other (sometimes both). Pro-Apple? Anti-Apple? (she won't buy Apple products at all, and says so publicly--yet she claimed Apple was right on a copyright case. (Apple won, easily....I thought the other side had a reasonable chance--I was wrong.) Pro-Novell? Anti-Novell? Depends on the lawsuit, and the legal issues at hand.
Groklaw outed the Microsoft sponsorship of the SCO-versus-world-plus-dog lawsuit, persisted through a long period of denials, to hear the truth come out in court.
Sometimes the truth favors one side. This time, it favors Google despite Google's "warm fuzzy happiness" motto.
I would remind you that Google hasn't yet been found guilty of copyright violations anywhere. (According to U.S. law, indexing is legal fair use: Google would have a perfect legal right to index your content even without your permission: it is a courtesy only, not a legal requirement, that Google allows a website to opt out. Which leaves you no conceivable complaint.)
Microsoft HAS been found guilty of criminal monopolistic behavior in multiple court cases in dozens of jurisdictions on three continents.
8:23 pm on Sep 7, 2010 (gmt 0)
What happens when you get more cash than you can spend so to keep the feds from getting a ton of it they invest it. Then Google like any other business can take a tax credit on it, and with the new plan in the works with business tax being cut I suspect their gonna save billions in taxes. While I might not agree with it I can't blame them. I suspect each and everyone of us would do the same thing if we could. Their investing in what they do best collecting information.
Why do you think the Feds gave Google a contract without any bids, and when this was brought to light by cough Bill Gates, they posted new details of the bid but said it wouldn't do you any good we're still going to give it to Google. [foxnews.com...]
6:14 am on Sep 10, 2010 (gmt 0)
Maybe we need some fresh thinkers in Washington and the Justice dept who can see and think long term. Maybe there should be a limit on just how much information a corporation can gather about an entity. What MSFT did to get in hot water and violate various laws seems like peanuts compared to what Google can do with the mass of personal data they continue to assemble.
To some extent there is no one to blame but the person in the mirror who got sucked in to using analytics and other Google tools to get the ball rolling. Any entity whose sole purpose is to just make more money now and in the future ought to be put in check at some point to protect the public welfare IMHO.