Google takes flight software company
Google enters yet another information space, picking up Cambridge, Massachusetts-based flight booking software company ITA.
Announced on the Official Google Blog, the $700 million deal will give Google (GOOG) access to the back end of many of the bigger flight search engines that power web travel search around the web.
ITA’s software powers major booking engines like Orbitz, Kayak and Microsoft’s (MSFT) Bing amongst many others.
Clearly, there will be some regulatory issues to overcome.
Google contends that the deal is a good fit for themselves and the industry. From their statement:
- Google’s acquisition of ITA Software will create a new, easier way for users to find better flight information online, which should encourage more users to make their flight purchases online.
- The acquisition will benefit passengers, airlines and online travel agencies by making it easier for users to comparison shop for flights and airfares and by driving more potential customers to airlines’ and online travel agencies’ websites. Google won’t be setting airfare prices and has no plans to sell airline tickets to consumers.
- Because Google doesn’t currently compete against ITA Software, the deal will not change existing market shares. We are very excited about ITA Software’s QPX business, and we’re looking forward to working with current and future customers. Google will honor all existing agreements, and we’re also enthusiastic about adding new partners.
From ITA’s website:
ITA Software (www.itasoftware.com) creates innovative solutions for the travel industry. ITA’s QPX software tool for organizing flight information is used by leading airlines and travel distributors worldwide including Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Bing, Continental Airlines, Hotwire, Kayak, Orbitz, Southwest Airlines, TripAdvisor, United Airlines, US Airways, Virgin Atlantic Airways and others. ITA is now offering a completely new airline passenger reservation system to improve the customer experience. ITA was founded by computer scientists from MIT and is headquartered in Cambridge, Mass., USA.