Google Books Gets Slammed

April 28, 2009

After a wonder United Airlines (oops, typo, Untied Airlines flight, I checked the goodies in my newsreader. Tess and Tyson wanted to go to the park, but I spotted an interesting post and wanted to pass it along. The story’s title was designed to stop me: “Google Faces Antitrust Investigation over $125m Book Deal” here. The author of the story was Bobbie Johnson and the publisher was Google’s old pal, The Guardian, a dead tree outfit in the UK. The story is straightforward. Bobbie Johnson wrote:

not everybody inside the administration has such warm feelings towards the Californian internet powerhouse. Christine Varney – Obama’s nominee to run the Department of Justice’s antitrust division – has already voiced concerns about Google’s power, saying she could “see a problem, potentially, with Google”. Varney, who was part of the team who fought a long-running antitrust case against Microsoft in the 1990s, told a meeting in Washington last year that “Microsoft is so last century”, but that Google could pose a threat because it “has acquired a monopoly in internet online advertising”.

You may find CNet’s take on this useful as well. Click here for Stephen Shankland’s story.

My hunch is that The Guardian will be like Tess and Tyson when each gets a new rawhide chew bone. Excitement shall ensue. I wonder, “Will The Guardian start a regular feature to track Google as it wanders in the legal thickets?” My hunch is that the book operation will continue to chug along. Law moves less quickly than the Google.

Stephen Arnold, April 28, 2009


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