US Justice Dept. Opens Antitrust Inquiry Into Google Books Deal

The Justice Department has begun an inquiry into the antitrust implications of Google’s settlement with authors and publishers over its Google Book Search service, two people briefed on the matter said Tuesday.Lawyers for the Justice Department have been in conversations in recent weeks with various groups opposed to the settlement, including the Internet Archive and Consumer Watchdog. More recently, Justice Department lawyers notified the parties to the settlement, including Google, and representatives for the Association of American Publishers and the Authors Guild, that they were looking into various antitrust issues related to the far-reaching agreement. faces antitrust investigation over $125m book deal
Google is facing fresh accusations of anti-competitive behaviour, following reports that the US Justice Department is investigating the internet giant over its dealings with the book industry.Lawyers for the government are examining potential antitrust issues surrounding a $125m settlement made between Google and authors – in a move that could scupper the internet company’s plans to create an “iTunes for books”. Authors Outraged at Google Book Search
Google wants to make millions of books accessible online. But a group of German authors are enraged at not having been asked for permission to use their books — and at the mere $60 they might get for each one. Now German politicians are also voicing their dismay and pledging to protect author rights.German politicians have voiced their support for an appeal by 1,300 German authors who believe that the search-engine giant Google is violating copyright laws by allowing their works to be viewed online free of charge and without previous author approval.,1518,621385,00.htmlJudge issues extension in Google Book Search settlement
A federal judge has granted authors worldwide four more months to decide whether to participate in a settlement involving Google’s online Book Search service.Absent the ruling, made by Judge Denny Chin of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, authors would have had until May 5 to decide whether to join the settlement or opt out. book settlement delayed, DoJ has antitrust concerns
Late last year, Google announced that it had reached a settlement with several major publishers that would end their copyright lawsuit against the Google Books service. The settlement would put in place an agreement between Google and existing copyright holders, and give the search giant rights to out-of-print and orphaned works — those for which the copyright holder cannot be identified. Despite the complexity of the settlement, it was on a fast track to approval, with a final thumbs-up scheduled for May. Now, it looks like a delay in the decision is inevitable as opposition to it seems to be rising and the Department of Justice looking into the antitrust implications of the deal.

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