Google buys air fare data firm

Posted in: Miscellaneous at 02/07/2010 19:34

Google last night splashed out $700m (£460m) on a specialist aggregator of airline flight information, ITA Software, in a venture into travel data that is likely to set off competitive alarm bells among many online booking agencies such as Expedia, Orbitz and eBookers.

Google announced that it was buying Massachusetts-based ITA in order to make it easier for users of its search functions to find quick information about convenient flights and airfares, describing the move as "pro-competitive" and "pro-consumer".

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Giant Step Into Travel for Google
New Google tools to help people search easily for flights are now on the runway. It will be up to antitrust regulators to decide whether they can take off.

Google said Thursday that it had agreed to acquire ITA, a 14-year-old flight information software company, for $700 million in cash.

Regulators bound to stack up over Google-ITA
When will the U.S. government eventually decide to confront Google?

That's really the only question that needs to be debated in the wake of Google's announcement that it plans to acquire ITA Software, the leading provider of flight information from airlines to travel Web sites, for $700 million in cash. As it stands, the deal would marry the world's leading Internet search company with a crucial link in the online flight reservation process, making life for executives at online travel sites such as Orbitz, Kayak, and Expedia a whole lot more complicated.

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