Kayak opts for IPO despite ITA ‘risk’

Kayak has shrugged off the potential threat from the proposed deal that will see its software supplier ITA sold to Google by filing for an Initial Public Offering of its shares in the US.

The travel search engine giant has proposed an IPO worth $50 million, a move that it had been expected would be delayed by the ITA deal.

Kayak has come out publically against the Google ITA deal and is one of the founding members of the Fairsearch group that is urging the US authorities to block the buy-out.

In its filing Kayak refers to the proposed take over, that needs approval from the US Justice Department to go ahead, as one of the risks to its business.

The Kayak ITA deal is due to expire in 2013 and the software powered 42% of Kayak’s airfare queries this year which represented 85% of the searches performed on the site, although this added up to just 26% of its revenue.

Kayak said of the ITA deal: “If completed, Google could pursue the creation of new flight search tools which will enable people to find comparable flight information on the Internet without using a service like ours.

Google may also cause ITA not to renew any agreements with us, or to renew agreements with us on less favorable terms.

“If ITA or Google limit our access to the ITA software or any improvements to the software, increase the price we pay for it or refuse to renew our contract and we are unable to replace ITA with a comparable technology, we may be unable to operate our business effectively and our financial performance may suffer.”

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