The full effects of Google's acquisition and what this means for the online travel industry

Posted on Jul 8th 2010

By now everyone in the online world has heard about Google’s acquisition of Software Company ITA. We have heard the rumors of Google’s potential monopoly of Cyberspace and the online travel industry, but what does this mean for companies already in the market? Let’s take a closer look…

According to Wall Street analysts, despite the possible threat Google may pose, the actual impact on other companies will depend on their size. It is predicted that businesses known as meta-search engines, such as Kayak and Microsoft’s Bing, are likely to be affected first. A meta- search type application is suggested to be the best development for Google.

If this is the course in which they choose to take both Kayak and Bing may be adversely affected. Google already has a well established and positive reputation in the online realm. Their movement into the travel industry means that despite the fact that similar services are offered by other companies; Google’s reputation may sway users to use their meta-search over those of less known or smaller companies. 

Other companies such as Orbitz, Priceline and Expedia may also be in danger of being affected, however these companies have the added bonus of being able book directly though their sites. This booking function may prevent Google’s appearance in the industry from negatively impacting their revenue and online traffic.  As Google has announced it has no plans to sell airline tickets, it seems that these booking agents may be safe. At least for now…

It has been suggested that Google’s acquisition of ITA is a direct reaction to the features of Bing and its ability to compare and contrast hotels, flights and prices. It seems as though Google’s reaction to the pressure of Bing and its recent success in the industry is to align themselves directly with them. With Google and Bing in direct competition with each other, it seems that the online travel industry is just another arena for the two conglomerates to fight for cyber dominance.

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