June 10, 2009

Google BookSearch and Antitrust [8:28 am]

Not resolving anytime soon: U.S. Steps Up Inquiry of Google Book Settlement (pdf)

In a sign that the government has stepped up its antitrust investigation of a class-action settlement between Google and groups representing authors and publishers, the Justice Department has issued formal requests for information to several of the parties involved.

The Justice Department has sent the requests, called civil investigative demands, to various parties, including Google, the Association of American Publishers, the Authors Guild and individual publishers, said Michael J. Boni, a partner at Boni & Zack, who represented the Authors Guild in negotiations with Google.

“They are asking for a lot of information,” Mr. Boni said. “It signals that they are serious about the antitrust implications of the settlement.”

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