The US Justice Department (DOJ) has sued Bazaarvoice over its acquisition of its rival PowerReviews for $168.2m in June 2012, alleging that the deal lessened competition for Internet platforms that specialise in product ratings and reviews.The DOJ complained that the deal was not reported to it up-front.
The DOJ has sought a court order to force Bazaarvoice to divest some of its assets to create a competitor to replace PowerReviews.
The US Justice Department Antitrust Division head Bill Baer said Bazaarvoice would be able to boost prices to retailers and manufacturers for its product ratings and reviews platform, if there is no competitive pressure from PowerReviews.
"This lawsuit seeks to prevent one firm from dominating the product rating and review platforms market, and demonstrates that transactions that are not reported to us are not immune from scrutiny," Baer said.
Based in Austin, US, Bazaarvoice assists firms in reviews and other customer-generated information on their websites, and its clients include Panasonic, Burpee, Timex, Infiniti and Macy’s.