Google’s ITA buyout negotiations irk travel industry

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Google is upsetting more people today, with plans to buy out a travel software company leading to complaints from travel sites, and Google’s search engine being partially blocked in China after it fai

Google is upsetting more people today, with plans to buy out a travel software company leading to complaints from travel sites, and Google’s search engine being partially blocked in China after it failed to comply with Chinese censorship requirements.

Google is in negotiations with ITA, a software company specialising in travel, to buy it out and incorporate it into Google’s growing empire. ITA’s software is employed by a long list of airlines and travel sites, including Kayak and Orbitz, but not everyone is happy with the idea of a Google takeover.

In fact, there is such opposition to the idea that Kayak tried to beat Google to it by offering to buy ITA. Another travel website, Expedia, was willing to give $200 million (£134 million) to seal the Kayak deal, but Google has a lot of money to throw about and managed to get exclusive talks with the sought after software firm.

The reason so many people are concerned about Google taking over ITA is that the combined dominance of Google in the search market and ITA in the travel software sector will lead to a situation where it has too much leverage over data and prices, making it difficult for companies like Kayak to operate successfully.

A deal has yet to be reached, but if it is we can expect plenty of outcries and legal battles, which is a thing Google is growing more and more accustomed to lately.

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