Google acquires travel information provider ITA
Google has acquired airline IT and services provider ITA Software for $700M.
Google enters travel business
The acquisition enables the US search company to enter the travel information business.
Founded in 1996, ITA Software is a travel industry software company providing flight information to airlines, travel agencies, and online reservation systems.
Travel market is a huge segment of both search and eCommerce. ITA Software's acquisition should be a first step for Google to launch a travel search on its own. Nevertheless, Google said it didn't want to sell airlines tickets to customers but create "new flight search tools".
Bing to pay for Google's services?
Many travel actors rely on ITA Software: Microsoft's Bing, Expedia, Kayak, Orbitz and many more. Google's rivals even tried to counter the offer because they didn't want the company to be out of Google's hands. Too late, unless US regulators say that Google-ITA deal doesn't comply with US anti-trust law.
Google promised to honor its existing agreements with partners. In that case, it'd mean that Bing will pay Google for travel information. Not sure Microsoft is ready to do so...