Google Deal Probed by Antitrust Authorities

     (CN) – Federal antitrust authorities are investigating Google’s $125 million settlement with authors and publishers over digitized books, Google confirmed Wednesday.

     In fall 2008, Google agreed to pay $125 million to settle claims that its online book scanning project violated copyright laws. The deal called for establishment of an online registry through which authors and publishers could receive a cut of profits from online book subscription and sales.
     Launched in 2004, the Google Book Search project has scanned 10 million books, including out-of-print titles, to date. Google makes the books searchable online. The Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers filed suit in 2005 after discovering that Google contracted with several major U.S. university libraries to digitize their collections without seeking copyright permission. In the settlement, Google slated $45 million to go to authors and publishers whose work had been scanned without permission.
     Federal antitrust authorities at the Justice Department are looking into settlement details and Google’s hiring practices as part of the investigation.
     Google says it has no plans to renegotiate the deal, which is scheduled to be reviewed by a federal judge in October.

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