Google beats rivals to secure $700m ITA deal

Google has upped the ante in the battle for dominance in the online travel sector announcing the acquisition of ITA Software, the firm behind rival Bing Travel’s meta-search service.

ITA is also the firm that powers as well as a number of airlines’ own sites. The $700 million Google deal was announced yesterday and although it is likely to be subject to regulatory approval observers do not expect it to be blocked.

Eric Schmidt, chief executive of Google, said the deal will result in the search engine giants creating something different from what is currently available online.

“ITA’s very talented team has created an impressive product to organise flight information,” he 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.”

Google said it wanted to make the search process for flights much more simple and easier.

ITA had attracted interest from Expedia, Kayak, Amadeus and Travelport but these potential suitors had not been given access to ITA’s financials because of the talks with Google.

Google has said it will continue to honour all existing agreements with ITA partners and would look to add more.

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