Anti Trust regulators investigate Google Books deal

Google Books

Anti Trust regulators are to Investigate the Google Books deal which saw book publishers settle with the search engine giant for a sum total of $125m.

This settlement has been to compensate copyright holders of books featured on the Google Books search service and also gives Google a share of online book sales and adverts.

According to US Deputy Assistant Attorney General William Cavanaugh, the deal warrants further inquiry. He said in a letter filed to the New York District Court:

"The US has reviewed public comments expressing concern that aspects of the settlement agreement may violate the [Anti-Trust] Act."

he also added,

"At this preliminary stage, the US has reached no conclusions as to the merits of those concerns or more broadly what impact the settlement may have on competition,"

Google said in a statement:

"The Department of Justice and several state attorneys general have contacted us to learn more about the impact of the settlement, and we are happy to answer their questions," Google said in a statement.

"It is 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 US."

Many book sellers are very concerned however as this may mean that Google takes the lions share of any internet book sales. The Chief Executive of Amazon also expressed his concern over the deal, and believed that it needed to be "revisited".