Blown To Bits

DOJ Questions the Google Books Settlement

Friday, July 3rd, 2009 by Harry Lewis

The Department of Justice has now confirmed rumors that it was taking an interest in the draft settlement between Google and the Authors and Publishers, now before federal judge Denny Chin (who just sentenced Bernie Madoff to 150 years). Presumably the question for the DOJ is whether the proposed settlement is anti-competitive; Google responds “It‚Äôs important to note that this agreement is non-exclusive and if approved by the court, stands to expand access to millions of books in the U.S.‚Äù Which is true, but may well not be sufficient to avoid anti-trust issues.¬†¬†See the Digital Daily post here, which includes a link to the actual correspondence between the government and Judge Chin. Judge Chin notes that he is still planning to hold a Fairness hearing on October 7, and if the government wants its views known in writing, it has to submit something by September 18.

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