Travel search site Farecast was rumored to be a takeover target recently and the CEO has confirmed that the site has indeed been acquired by Microsoft. TechCrunch, citing John Cook at the Seattle PI, says the deal was worth something in the $100-$115 million range.
Microsoft has a long history in travel, having started Expedia in the mid-1990s (it was sold to IAC’s predecessor USANetworks in 1999). Farecast’s claim to differentiation was that it could predict whether air fares or hotel prices were going up or down to help travelers know when to buy. The site has been around for about two years.
The capabilities are already present on MSN travel and we’ll likely see it affect travel-related search results on Live Search.