Embracing and accelerating the inevitable
The proposed agreement isn't final, and could fall apart. But if Google and Justice clinch the deal, it would mark a turning point for the company in its rapid growth from a Silicon Valley start-up to a digital giant so powerful that it is drawing the sort of government scrutiny accorded AT&T Inc. and Microsoft Corp. in earlier decades.
The proposed agreement would for the first time allow government antitrust monitoring of a part of Google's operations to assure that the company doesn't unfairly use its control of ITA's airline data to put rivals at a disadvantage, people familiar with the discussions said.
Google, among the most active buyers of small technology companies, has never formally agreed to government conditions as part of an acquisition.
Spokespeople for Google, ITA and the Justice Department declined to comment.