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Google acquires ITA Software travel company

Travel information company ITA Software looks set to be swallowed up by Google.

In an announcement made on Thursday, Google announced it had paid $700 million for ITA Software with the hope of helping users of its websearch find better travel information.

The acquisition will allow Google the capacity to rival other travel comparison services such as Kayak, FareCompare and Microsoft’s Bing Travel. However, Google may come under some very stiff government regulatory procedures as ITA is also used by these companies.

The ITA software uses algorithms and other technology to trawl through the internet for travel information and has greatly changed the way people make their travel arrangements, particularly in searching for the cheapest options.

It takes the information published by airlines, such as flights, availability and prices, and then makes it available to its partners, like Bing Travel. The worry will be in seeing if Google will make the information available to its competitors.

Many of the searches made on Google are travel related but as Google’s vice-president of search products and user experience, Marissa Mayer points out, there are often too many factors to put in to a simple query box.

Buying ITA Software will greatly enhance Google’s customer experience.
Google’s aim is to simplify the whole travel process for its searchers, delivering them to the best providers suited to user needs through the creation of a set of flight search tools that makes use of the ITA software.

Like it usually does before any major acquisition, Google prepared a website setting out the benefits of it purchasing ITA Software while downplaying any hint of a monopoly or anti-competitiveness. Google CEO Eric Schmidt is well aware of the increased scrutiny Google attracts from government regulators these days, especially after the Federal Trade commission green lighted the $750 million AdMob purchase.

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