Google is reportedly talking to the Department of Justice, negotiating conditions on its proposed $700 million acquisition of ITA Software, in a bid to forestall a DOJ move to block the deal.
The Wall Street Journal reports that antitrust investigators have had a flurry of meetings with Google and members of FairSearch.org, the coalition spearheading opposition to the acquisition.
One of the ideas under discussion, according to the report, is a consent decree that would require Google to continue licensing ITA Software’s QPX airfare shopping and pricing system to existing clients “at a reasonable price” and to ensure that upgrades would be provided.
Contract renewals and access to any innovations that ITA Software makes under Google ownership are key sticking points for clients, although FairSearch.org has stated publicly that it would only be satisfied if the DOJ kills the acquisition outright.
However, FairSearch.org’s all-or-nothing stance, may be a negotiating position of its own.