Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/04/08/google_travel_watchdog/

Google may accept government watchdog

Travel deal not going anywhere otherwise

By John Oates

Posted in Law, 8th April 2011 10:55 GMT

US officials are close to convincing Google to accept some kind of government oversight in order to get approval for its takeover of ITA Software which provides travel and flight information.

Several companies have vigorously opposed the move, which they believe will gift Google another effective monopoly. ITA Software is used by most airlines and rival flight search sites worry that Google's lack of transparency would stifle innovation in the market.

But Google could be close to accepting a government-appointed watchdog. Microsoft ended up having to employ a monitoring trustee as part of its anti-trust agreement with the European Commission.

According to US reports, Google is resisting the move.

Any agreement will be closely watched because Google is undergoing several separate monopoly and anti-trust investigations alongside its attempted purchase of ITA.

The European Commission is investigating aspects of its search and AdWords business.

In the US the FTC and DOJ are starting to take an interest in the ad giant's behaviour. ®