Estimating timelines for Department of Justice antitrust review decisions can be tricky, but a financial analyst says a ruling on Google's proposed $700 million acquisition of ITA Software should be made by Jan. 25.
"For the Google/ITA deal, we expect to hear back from the government by Jan 25th, given Google’s federal filing, refusing a review extension (goverment has 30 days to respond)," Herman Leung, an analyst at Deutsche Bank Equity Research, wrote in a note to investors. "Bottom line, we expect the deal to pass but likely with some provisions around technology and competition."
Leung says he bases his timing estimate on the federal filing and industry sources.
Various news reports indicate Google declined a review extension and hence the 30-day deadline for the DOJ to respond.
The DOJ reportedly is preparing a court case to block the deal, but that could be just a precautionary move or even a negotiating tack by the government. According to reports, no final decision has been made.
In other developments, Leung speculates that American Airlines will settle its disputes with Sabre, Expedia and Orbitz within the next two quarters.
"There is too much at risk for AA not to settle," Leung writes, given that Sabre, Expedia, Orbitz and Travelport handled $8 billion in American Airlines bookings from November 2009 to December 2010, according to court documents.