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Google To Acquire ITA Software

posted Jul 7, 2010, 6:10 AM by Rowan Hewitt   [ updated Jul 7, 2010, 6:12 AM ]

By Rajani Baburajan, TMCnet Contributor

Flight information software company ITA Software and Google (News - Alert)announced that they have signed an agreement for Google to acquire ITA for $700 million in cash, subject to adjustments.
The deal will allow Google to pursue the creation of new flight search tools that enable users to find better flight information more easily on the Internet, company officials said.
The agreement should encourage more users to make their flight purchases online, the company hopes. It will benefit passengers, airlines and online travel agencies by making it easier for users to comparison shop for flights and airfares and by driving more potential customers to airlines' and online travel agencies' Web sites, according to Google officials.
Eric Schmidt (News - Alert), chairman and CEO of Google, says ITA’s technology offers exciting possibilities for Google to create new ways for users to more easily find flight information online.
A team of MIT (News - Alert) computer scientists founded ITA in 1996, and the company’s technically advanced solutions for organizing flight information came as an accelerator for change in the online travel industry. Both airlines and online travel agencies use ITA’s (News - Alert) customizable flight data organization tool. ITA’s solutions are widely acceptable because of its innovative algorithms and deep airline industry expertise.
Google doesn't currently compete against ITA Software and the deal will not change existing market shares, company officials added. Google is excited about ITA Software's QPX business, and is looking forward to working with current and future customers. The search engine giant is also looking forward to adding new partners.
ITA Software creates innovative solutions for the travel industry. ITA is now offering a completely new airline passenger reservation system to improve the customer experience. 
Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Bing, Continental Airlines, Hotwire, Kayak, Orbitz, Southwest Airlines, TripAdvisor, United Airlines, US Airways, Virgin Atlantic Airways are some of the users of ITA's QPX software tool.
Both companies have approved the transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions.
A recent TMCnet report talks about Google’s plan to test a new Voice over Internet Protocol or “VoIP” Service which will be built into Gmail once finished. The service will feature a new phone icon in the Gmail chat window with a dial-pad, an option to find contacts, a credit balance and a call button.

Rajani Baburajan is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Rajani's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Erin Monda