Monopoly Money

Google Book Deal Under Fire

Someone has been Googling "antitrust" over at the Justice Department. Federal officials on Friday urged a judge to reject a settlement Google secured with authors and publishers to sell access to millions of digital books online and share revenue. According to The Wall Street Journal, Justice Dept. officials are concerned that the deal insufficiently protects obscure authors and could block competitors from joining the digital book business themselves. Despite their criticism, the department said in a brief that the settlement was otherwise a productive idea that "has the potential to breathe life into millions of works that are now effectively off-limits to the public." Google, the Authors Guild, and the Association of American Publishers said in a joint statement that "We are considering the points raised by the department and look forward to addressing them as the court proceedings continue."