Court documents show that when Google invested $180 million to scan and make books available online, one of the driving forces of that effort was to take on Amazon, according to Biz Journals. Google is being sued by the Author's Guild and court papers show that one of the main goals of scanning books was to have consumers look on Google's websites instead of Amazon's.
The crux of Google's defense against the lawsuit is that Google was posting scanned portions of books as a non-commercial effort, which could fall under fair use laws. If it is determined that Google was scanning books for commercial gain, especially at the expense of Amazon, the defense could fall apart. If Google loses, the case could cost it up to $1 billion in damages.