By Sara Jerome - 01/13/11 06:16 PM EST
The Justice Department may try to block Google's acquisition of ITA Software, according to Bloomberg.
The article said the department is preparing a possible anti-trust suit against the $700 million deal, but that officials have not yet made up their mind on whether to move ahead. Bloomberg cites people familiar with the situation.
The sources told Bloomberg that Google triggered the potential lawsuit when it invoked a law that forces the government to decide within 30 days whether to go forward with a deal.
The deal has drawn strong opposition from consumer groups and from Google's competitors in the search and travel search business, including those who partner with ITA. Expedia, Kayak and Microsoft are members of fairsearch.org, a website that advocates against the deal.
ITA Software provides the programs that allow searchers to find airfares and flight times through websites such as Microsoft's Bing, Kayak and Orbitz.
Google's position: The company says it has no plans to unfairly wield its market power, and that ITA has various thriving competitors that stand to ensure consumers have access to alternatives in travel search.