Google Gets Green Light To Proceed With ITA Acquisition

What would Google want with a flight search engine? Oh, it's not so hard to guess! Google's business is search, and by capitalizing on more and more aspects of search, Google's able to extract even more ad dollars. One area where Google has fallen behind others is travel. When you think of travel search, you don't really consider Google. You may think of Orbitz, Expedia, Bing Travel or Kayak, but you probably don't immediately think of Google. But that could change with their acquisition of ITA Software.

Last year, Google made the decision to snap up ITA, but many pundits were quick to point out that such a combination was unlikely to happen. After all, how would such a deal pass regulatory hurdles? A year later, those hurdles have been passed, but Google's being forced to make some major compromises. Google's goal is to have you search for things like "flights to the beach for under $500 in June" and then be able to give you real-time, relevant results. With ITA Software's technology under their belt, they'd be able to do just that.

But of course, the US Department of Justice had a thing or two to say about such a thing. They forced Google to allow ITA to honor the agreements already agreed to until 2016, and Google has also agreed to let both current and new customers license ITA’s QPX software on “fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms” into 2016—along with related commitments aimed at making ITA’s technology available to other travel sites. It looks as if Google will be able to acquire ITA after all, but there's no clear word on when the partnership will take root and start providing results online. Maybe by the time the summer travel season hits full swing? We're sure Google hopes so.
Tags:  Google, Search, flight, ita