Google’s Proposed ITA Deal Has The Online Travel Industry Crying, “No Fair!”
Google's proposed $700 million acquisition of flight data powerhouse ITA Software is running into some serious resistance from the online travel industry. A group of online travel companies including Expedia, Kayak, Travelocity, and TripAdvisor are lobbying the Justice Department to block the deal on antitrust grounds through an organization called FairSearch . Some of these companies were also behind competing bids for ITA Software which failed. Microsoft separately opposes the deal as well. ITA provides flight data, schedules, fares, and availability to many of these travel sites, airline sites and Microsoft's Bing search engine. The FairSearch coalition argues that allowing "Google could use ITA to try to marginalize competitors in ways that raise prices for consumers and limit innovation." They fear that Google will use its search dominance to steer traffic away from their own sites and favor flight search on Google itself. These fears are not completely unfounded.
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