Google just announced that it completed a $700 million deal to buy ITA Software, a Cambridge, Mass.-based company that provides flight information used by airlines and travel companies.
The deal is expected to have repercussions across the online travel industry. Bellevue-based Expedia reportedly tried to thwart Google with a competing offer and may now bulk up through acquisitions to better compete with the search giant, according to travel biz site Tnooz.
I wonder if Microsoft will respond somehow. Bing now has better travel features since it incorporated Seattle startup Farecast’s tools, but ITA gives Google much more to work with and a bigger role in the market.
Google is planning to use ITA technology “to pursue the creation of new flight search tools that will enable users to find better flight information more easily on the Internet.”
“ITA’s very talented team has created an impressive product to organize flight information,” Google CEO Eric Schmidt said in the press release. “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.”
Perhaps Microsoft shouldn’t have spun off Expedia after all.