Senator Calls On DOJ To Limit Google’s ITA Purchase

Matt McGee on
  • Categories: Channel: Industry, Google: Acquisitions, Google: Critics, Search Engines: Travel Search Engines
  • Citing a litany of concerns over competition, airfare, and technology, a US Senator is calling on the Justice Department to put conditions on Google’s purchase of travel software company ITA.

    In a letter to the DOJ on Wednesday, Senator Herb Kohl outlined a number of concerns over Google’s purchase of ITA — the independent software provider that powers many of the top online travel web sites, from individual airline sites to online travel services (Expedia, Orbitz) and aggregators (Kayak, Bing Travel):

    “Participants in the on-line travel industry are concerned that Google could refuse to make the key components of ITA software available on reasonable terms to other online travel industry participants by raising the price for a renewed license or refusing to license improvements to the software. Such a course of action, they argue, could effectively degrade competition among air travel search providers and Google could drive more consumers to its own online air travel search services, in the long run harming competition in that market.”

    In addition to calling for a “careful review” of the deal, Kohl specifically asks that regulators

    Asked about the Senator’s letter, a Google spokesperson told Reuters, “We’ve pledged to continue licensing ITA’s search tools to other sites, and hope to drive more potential customers to airline and online travel websites.”

    Several major players in the travel industry have joined forces to form FairSearch.org, to fight against the Google-ITA deal.

    There’s more discussion on Techmeme.


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    Matt McGee
    Matt McGee joined Third Door Media as a writer/reporter/editor in September 2008. He served as Editor-In-Chief from January 2013 until his departure in July 2017. He can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee.