Microsoft, Amazon Unite Against Google Book Deal

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 21, 2009 12:07 PM CDT
A librarian helps a giant desktop machine digest a rare, centuries-old Bible for Google.   (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
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(Newser) – Microsoft, Amazon, and Yahoo are ganging up against Google Books, trying to quash its settlement with publishers and authors, the Wall Street Journal reports. The settlement, which still needs court approval, would allow Google to offer works scanned off library shelves online for free, provided publishers get a cut of the ad revenue. Now its rival tech giants are joining with some library associations to try to block the deal on antitrust grounds.

The coalition also includes some top Silicon Valley lawyers, including one involved in the antitrust suit against Microsoft. The Justice Department is currently looking into the deal. Some authors, librarians, publishers, and privacy advocates have argued that the deal unfairly exempts Google from copyright concerns. But Google defends the deal, saying it "is injecting more competition into the digital books space, so it’s understandable why our competitors might fight” it.