Google Buys ITA Software – "Changing the Air Travel Landscape"?

To hear some reporters tell it, there’s a lopsided war going on – with Google as Goliath (well, as a Goliath who actually might win).

Finding Cheap Airline Tickets

This has to do with the internet giant’s acquisition of ITA Software – the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based firm that is a “major source of information about airfares to the industry” as Reuters put it – and yes, we at FareCompare also use it to help our customers find cheap airline tickets.

Google Seeking “World Domination”?

When I say “war”, consider these phrases (some of them over-heated) being bandied about in the coverage of this takeover: Google could “wield too much power” (Reuters); “Google’s empire expands” (WSJ); “Google’s internet dominance” (TheStreet), while over at Consumerist, there’s tongue-in-cheek talk about Google’s plan for “world travel domination” and, at, reporter Dennis Schaal talks about a “Stop Google” movement.

First, Anti-Trust Action

What do I think? I think it’s a little soon. For one thing, my guess is, the anti-trust scrutiny alone that Google will have to undergo, could take anywhere from six months to a year.

Here’s what I wrote over on the FareCompare Labs Blog about this airline airfare information acquisition (now that’s a mouthful):


“Google today just changed the air travel landscape in a big way (assuming this transaction clears what could be an interesting antitrust review) — kudos to my friends at ITA for fulfilling the dream, all that hard work has paid off – well done.”


“After ruminating about the ramifications of this game changing deal for the past couple of months, I still don’t have enough information to formulate exactly how this thing will play out in an ever more socially mobile generation.” – FareCompare Labs with Rick Seaney, 7-2-10

A Wild Ride

And as I’ve said before, this I do know: as this plays out, it is going to be a wild ride – and I for one am looking forward to it.


Published: July 2, 2010