Cross-posted by at On the Docket

The Department of Justice’s highly anticipated decision on Google’s $700 million purchase of flight-data software company ITA Software is imminent.  DOJ has made, and Google has complied with, two requests for information, and in December, Google put Justice’s antitrust regulators on the clock by invoking a federal legal provision requiring the government to act within 30 days.  That clock struck midnight three weeks ago.

DOJ’s decision is obviously of great importance to the merging parties, concerned competitors (, Expedia, Bing Travel), and consumers (who spent $80 billion in online travel purchases in 2009). But the decision will also have broader implications for how this administration approaches competition in the online space, as well as on how it may apply a controversial part of antitrust officials’ new Horizontal Merger Guidelines.