Google's Monopoly over the Online Travel Industry

Posted on Jul 5th 2010

Google has finally announced the $700 mil deal to acquire Software Company ITA. This agreement is just another step for the search engine giant to solidly its hold on the online travel industry. Google first rumored its intentions to acquire the company earlier this year however, it wasn’t until late last week that the search engine conglomerate made it official.

ITA is a software company whose products are used to book online air fares and track seat availability and costs. Google plans to use ITA data to create “new flight search tools” to maximize the efficiency of Google’s existing search facilities. The new data will enhance Google Search to incorporate the ability to book flights, access real time prices and provide a comparison with other search engines.

The ITA software is set to put Google in direct competition with other online search engines that are entering the online travel market, such as Microsoft’s Bing. Bing currently was positioned as one of the number one online travel engines, offering a wide variety of travel information complete with comparison prices for the same flight from the different travel engines, as well as predictive charts and graphs from Farecast. Bing currently gets a lot of its flight and fare data from ITA.

Bing will not be the only company affected by the purchase of ITA. Online booking agent, Kayak allows users to search and compare flight, hotel room and other travel information with hundreds of other travel sites. Google’s use of the ITA software would render this online agent useless, or at best in stiff competition with the already successful Google brand.

There has been a lot of hype surrounding this deal, some fearing that this acquisition will finally place Google in the ultimate spot, giving them a monopoly of the online travel industry. Google, now equip with all the tools to offer instant fare information next to search results for flights and hotel price listings in Google Maps, online travel dominance for Google seems inevitable.

The full effects of this deal are yet to be seen, but as far as the online travel industry is concerned, it looks like it has a new ruler and Google its his name.


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