Decision in Google – ITA Deal Just Around the Corner

Google’s attempt to buy airline ticketing software company ITA has aggravated all the big names in the travel industry. The deal they are all fearing might finally go through in a matter of days, as the Justice Department is reportedly close to decision that would allow the make the acquisition, but would require the search giant to also make sure the software is still available to its competitors. Reuters cited an unnamed source that mentioned the decision is only days away, not weeks, as some speculated.

Google which currently is the world’s market leader in search made their intention to buy ITA Software for 700 million US dollars in cash last July. Almost instantly, Kayak, TripAdvisor and other major online travel companies showed concern over being deprived of the possibility to use the software.

The future licensing of the software is what the Justice Department approval depends on. The clear terms that would refer to both this issue and to how Google treats potential competitors in search results is still being negotiated. Apparently, many online companies accuse the search giant of manipulating search results to have certain competitors appear lower on the result pages.

While the Justice Department is close to making a decision, no one knows if Google is actually willing to take the conditions imposed for the deal to go through, explained Reuters, citing a second undisclosed source. If the two sides fail to reach an agreement, the matter will not be forgotten, but resolved in court.


Google’s take on the matter is that while it is not competing against ITA Software, the deal would in no way affect competition in the online travel industry, which makes it perfectly legal.  Yet the Federal Trade Commission and Justice Department are considering an investigation on Google’s search fairness, while European regulators are already reviewing the company’s search practices.

What still surprises anyone with a little knowledge of how Google works and their rules regarding duplicate content is the fact that major online travel companies and website are far more concerned with having Google buy ITA than with the fact that, as most of them actually have duplicate content on thousands of pages, could be instantly dropped out of all search results. If Goolge actually wanted to instantly kill competitors in the travel industry, they have the means and it’s far less costly than paying 700 million US dollars for a software company.

1 Comment to “Decision in Google – ITA Deal Just Around the Corner”

  1. […] Decision in Google – ITA Deal Just Around the Corner […]

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