Google to buy flight data company for $700m
Part of search giant's world
domination improvement plan
Google has agreed to pay $700m to buy flight-information provider ITA Software so that the search giant can provide users with more-comprehensive information about prices, times, and destinations of commercial airline flights.
The all-cash deal is the latest attempt by Google to expand beyond its core web-search offerings. While CEO Eric Schmidt said it's too early to flesh out business models, the company said its embrace of the 500-employee firm located in Cambridge, Massachusetts would make it easier for people to comparison-shop for flights, and would drive more sales to online travel agencies.
ITA was founded in 1996 by computer scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Its search algorithms for presenting customized flight data are already used to help several airlines run their reservation systems.
It wouldn't be surprising for the deal to face significant regulatory scrutiny from antitrust enforcers in the US and possibly elsewhere. Google's $750m acquisition of AdMob was held up by a six-month review from the Federal Trade Commission, which ended its inquiry only after Apple bought Quattro, the third-largest mobile ad network.
Google hasn't said how much time it expects for the latest deal to close. In an announcement, the company already appeared to be girding for a fight, insisting that under the deal Google wouldn't be setting airfare prices and had no plans to sell tickets to consumers. It also said existing market shares in the industry wouldn't change. ®
Are they buying everything? I know it seems like there's only a few companies that own everything, but will it eventually just be Google left?
How long before we see the headline 'Google buys Internet, decides to drop Microsoft.com'
Google Copying Bing..... let's hope not!
It's about time Google started offering this kind of service... I've been wondering for ages when they'd do it. Local cinema listings is another thing I want to see Google start doing.
Back to flight searches... let's hope that Google do a much better version than Bing's useless offering.
I used Bing the other day to try and find some flights between London and the South of France. I went to the UK version of Bing, searched and navigated to the flights section - still within their UK site - and entered my details. I wasn't even surprised when Bing assumed I was interested in having all the prices shown in US dollars, despite me browsing the UK site and entering flights leaving and returning to the UK.
I did a facepalm for a few seconds then went to kayak.co.uk instead, which worked how I wanted and expected it to.
Microsoft really are useless, even at doing the simple stuff. I'm sure they simply got to where they are because there was no decent competition around at the time. If only Google had been around back then!
I'll miss them
matrix was pretty useful. matrix2 a bit too ajax-y and us-centric for my taste, but still ok. Seeing what google did to dejavu -- and now seemingly purged just about all the original usenet indices -- I'm not confident we'll get to keep any of it.