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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