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After a few months of informal moves on it, the U.S. Justice Dept is now investigating an anti-trust inquiry into Google’s book settlement with the authors and publishers over its online book scanning and repository project. The agreement, which was reached last year, has been criticized by some authors and publishers as giving the search giant a stranglehold on the book publishing industry; the agreement is up for review by the federal court in New York in late October. In a letter to Federal District Court Judge Denny Chin of New York, William F. Cavanaugh, the Justice Department’s deputy assistant attorney general wrote that “The United States has reviewed public comments expressing concern that aspects of the settlement agreement may violate the Sherman Act.” But even though the dept has not reached any conclusions on it, this requires further investigation, the letter said.
According to a Google (NSDQ: GOOG) spokesperson, quoted by LAT, “The Department of Justice and several state attorneys general have contacted us to learn more about the impact of the settlement, and we are happy to answer their questions…It