Google has bought the Massachusetts-based ITA software firm for $700m (£460m) to make it convenient for users to search for specific flight information on its highly-dominant search engine. Google might have described its intention as “pro-competitive” and “pro-consumer”, but it has expectantly shook up online booking agencies.
Collaboration with ITA is sure to draw regulatory scrutiny considering ITA is the most widely used service by the travel industry. Not much in the public eye, but i it is ITA that acts as a medium between travel companies and users. It provides flight data, timings, availability and prices to the travel industry.
Google’s chief executive, Eric Schmidt, said: “Their technology opens exciting possibilities for us to create new ways for users to more easily find flight information online, and we’re looking forward to welcoming them to Google.”
While the company has made it clear that it has no intention of selling airline tickets to consumers, fears of Google yielding too much power and influence cloud the travel market.
Concerns have become evident, by travel agents Kayak and Expedia who approached ITA to snatch the business from Google. However, negotiations with Google had already progressed to an advanced stage.
Google beat reported bidders Expedia, Kayak and Travelport.