If the U.S. Department of Justice indeed takes imminent steps to begin the process of leveling the playing field for Google's travel advertisers and competitors in other verticals, the size of the impact would depend on the specifics. There will be a lot of wrangling — and this could be the beginning of the beginning.
Online Travel This Week
The U.S. Department of Justice could be very close to issuing its Google antitrust findings — and some of the travel industry's longstanding concerns could be part of the mix.
The details will matter here — what specific steps does the department decree to blunt Google's quasi-monopoly over search, its diverting traffic to Google Flights and Google Hotels, and to level the playing field? For example, Google's critics have complained that European Commission actions to reign in Google's anticompetitive practices in its shopping vertical in Europe didn't resolve the problems.
We're hearing the release of the Justice Department findings could be imminent, but as with all governmental maneuverings, they could be delayed.
The issues in the United States could take years to resolve, and litigation would seem likely.
But if there is proverbial meat on the bone of any enforcement actions, it would be a welcome surprise for the travel industry. Af