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Google Acquires ITA Software, Regulators May Balk 72

marino02 tips news that Google has acquired ITA Software, a company who sells travel-related software and information, for $700 million. "Google said it plans to use ITA's technology in its Web search tools and to allow potential passengers to shop for tickets right from Google. Travel search makes up a huge portion of Google searches, but it's a complicated type of search to express in a query box, [said Marissa Mayer]." Analysts expect the deal to come under scrutiny from the FTC. "With this deal, Google will have transformed itself into one of the biggest power brokers in the travel industry. It will control the leading software for powering online airline reservations. It will be able to provide something in its own search results above and beyond what its competitors — who merely license the ITA software — will be able to produce. And it will become the leading online advertising buy for travel-related advertisers (assuming it wasn't already) if it doesn't butcher the rollout of user-friendly airline search tools within Google's already popular interface."
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Google Acquires ITA Software, Regulators May Balk

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  • Try it out (Score:5, Informative)

    by feenberg ( 201582 ) on Friday July 02, 2010 @03:16PM (#32778154)

    You can use the ITA engine at [] and it is really quite good compared to most airline/agency websites. However, it won't actually sell you a ticket.

  • by bwintx ( 813768 ) on Friday July 02, 2010 @03:27PM (#32778286)
    Southwest's current TV spots are focused on how its site is the only place on the Web where you can find its fares.
  • Re:Try it out (Score:3, Informative)

    by tjhayes ( 517162 ) on Friday July 02, 2010 @05:19PM (#32779834)
    It's significantly better than "really quite good". It is EXCELLENT. It's very quick, and the searches it executes can be VERY customizable. Let's say you wanted to fly from NYC to LAX, only on United, with exactly 1 stop, and that stop MUST be in Chicago. ITA can perform that exact search for you. It's really quite amazing how well it works.
  • by bunyip ( 17018 ) on Friday July 02, 2010 @06:04PM (#32780484)

    I think ITA made a great deal of hype around their NP proof, but the complexity of the search was known by many and was known before ITA published their results. For example, Tom Holloran (United Airlines) published a paper at AGIFORS in the 1980's that showed the equivalence to a set covering / set partitioning problem.

    Sabre's fare search engine was rewritten from scratch in C++ & Java starting about the same time ITA started. The search engine runs on a Linux cluster, and independent benchmarks show that it is the leader in finding the lowest fares. In fact, pretty much *all* the major players in fare search run on x86 clusters. You could look this up online too :-)

A committee takes root and grows, it flowers, wilts and dies, scattering the seed from which other committees will bloom. -- Parkinson