Expedia and friends team up to stop Google's travel play
ITA buy would be anti-competitive
A group of travel sites are teaming up to fight Google's proposed takeover of ITA Software.
The group calls itself Fairsearch.org and includes Expedia, Kayak, tripadvisor, travelocity and Sabre Holdings.
Google's $700m bid for the firm has already attracted interest from the Department of Justice. Google said in August it had received a second request for information from the DOJ.
ITA provides flight prices, timetables and other information. Google insists the takeover would not be anti-competitive because it is not in the travel business.
But Fairsearch warns that Google's lack of transparency will scupper the market for other travel info providers. It is also concerned because ITA Software is used by most of Google's rival flight information sites - ITA has 65 per cent of the market for ticket sales direct from airlines - about $25bn in sales in 2009.
ITA was founded by graduates from MIT. Airlines use their software to offer passengers personalised flight data. ®
Fairsearch is as dishonest as they claim Google to be
Tripadvisor is a subsidiary of Expedia; Travelocity sells tickets to retail and is OWNED by Sabre Holdings who is a GDS to travel agents and, in other words, is selling against it's TA clients through Travelocity. Kayak Software Corp. of Concord, Mass. is an aggregator selling to the retail public.
Unless you are involved in the travel business what this bunch of 'crooks' do is get special pricing from the airlines which boosts profits if they sell of those few empty seats that are often found on every flight. They do this even if it is cheaper, quicker or more convenient with fewer changes by alternative routings which they know about.
This so-called Fairsearch is a con job; they are simply trying to stop Google exposing their rackets by which they fleece the travelling public.
Sabre Holdings, aka Sabre Reservation System, doesn't easily reveal it owns Travelocity (try a Traceback and you will see they are hosted by Sabre). Sabre uses it's travel agent data to flex Travelocity pricing so retail customers think they are the cheapest.
We need disclosure in the travel business as the airlines are royally screwing the travel business, aided and abetted by these members of Fairsearch. And try getting 'service' from Expedia, Travelocity or Kayak after you push/click the Buy button.
Transparency in any business squeezes the bottom line; here you are dealing with some of the most experienced dubious dealers in the travel business (Kayak is more honest than the others).
Don't believe me: Check out a mutli-stop travel itinerary such as YYZ (Toronto) to BKK (Bangkok) to SGN (SaiGon). Or pick your own favourite grouping. Then call your friendly, IN PERSON, travel agent and ask for a budget price for an equivalent flight (only use economy). If I'm wrong, I'll buy you a beer - in SaiGon!
(Disclosure: A friend was sued by Sabre and Galileo reservation systems for revealing 'trade information' both ended in losses for the res systems - how can you fight the truth?)
Isnt' ms part of Expedia?
"One On One With Expedia's Erik Blachford"
"Microsoft launches Expedia version of Internet Explorer 8"
"Microsoft, Expedia oppose Google's ITA acquisition"
It's very easy to see that ms has a vested interest in keeping Google out of the airfare reservation system...
Or you could...
.. just click on the "About Travelocity" link at the bottom of their home page, and then click on the Corporate Profile link, which goes directly to the Sabre Holdings website. Really well hidden, that. (In fairness, there used to be a "A Sabre Company" logo on there at one point. But given that the Travelocity brand is much better known than the Sabre brand, it was little more than an ego boost for the people at Sabre).