Bloomberg News is reporting that Google is in discussions on what could be a $1 billion buyout of ITA Software, a company that provides reservation/information systems used by many well-known travel industry companies.
Bloomberg cites “three people familiar with the matter” in its article, two of whom speculate that ITA could want up to $1 billion in a sale to Google. The sources also say that “the negotiations may not lead to a transaction.”
Ironically, ITA provides software that’s used by Bing, presumably for its popular Bing Travel search tools. In a recent news release, ITA says its software is also used by Kayak, Orbitz, TripAdvisor, Hotwire, and several major international airlines.
Though Google has substantially more overall search market share, travel search is one vertical where many say that Bing easily outclasses Google.