Austin software company Bazaarvoice disputes antitrust claims [Austin American-Statesman]
(Austin American-Statesman (TX) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Feb. 08--Austin-based software company Bazaarvoice Inc. signaled this week that it intends to contest the claims made against it in an antitrust lawsuit filed by the U.S. Justice Department in January.
The company, which develops software that enables client businesses to add ratings and reviews to their websites, said in a legal response that its acquisition of California-based PowerReviews Inc. last June did not stifle competition.
Bazaarvoice bought PowerReviews, a smaller company in its field, for $168.2 million.
The Justice Department lawsuit alleged that the acquisition eliminated competition in Bazaarvoice's market sector and asked the court to force Bazaarvoice to divest itself of assets "sufficient to create a separate, distinct and viable competing business that can replace PowerReviews' competitive significance in the marketplace."
Bazaarvoice joined the Justice Department in requesting a court trial on July 22 or soon thereafter.
Bazaarvoice's response say there has been considerable competition in its market since last summer and that there are no barriers to entry for new competitors. It also says the Justice Department created an "unsustainably narrow" definition of the market it competes in.
"We continue to believe that our acquisition of PowerReviews was procompetitive and did not result in a lessening of competition," Bazaarvoice spokesman Matt Krebsbach said in a written statement. "We believe that the evidence will clearly show that competition continues to flourish and that our acquisition has benefited customers. We look forward to telling the complete story in court and resolving this issue as soon as possible."
Bazaarvoice raised $114 million in an initial public stock offering a year ago. It employed 1,100 people as of November and had such clients as Costco, Best Buy Co., Home Depot and Crate & Barrel.
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