Mr. Cavanaugh is notifying the judge in the Authors Guild v. Google case that the Government is opening an antitrust investigation into the proposed settlement:
The United States writes to inform the Court that it has opened an antitrust investigation into the proposed agreement between Google and representatives of publishers and authors which forms the basis of a proposed settlement of a pending class action in The Authors Guild Inc., et al. v. Google Inc., Civil No. 1:05-CV-8136. The United States has reviewed public comments expressing concern that aspects of the settlement agreement may violate the Sherman Act.For his part, Judge Chin entered an order dated yesterday in which he said:
The fairness hearing is scheduled for October 7, 2009. The Court intends to conduct the hearing on that date. If the Government wishes to present its views in writing, it must do so by September 18, 2009. The Government may also appear at the hearing to present its views orally.On May 11, I did a post on the pros and cons of the settlement here.
To see the DOJ's letter and the judge's order, go here.