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  (Source: djmick.co.uk)
ITA Software is used in the airline travel industry

Google recently announced that it made an offer to buy travel search software firm ITA Software. ITA provides the airline flight information used by Google's search competitors. The deal is valued at $700 million making it less expensive than Google's purchase of AdMob for $750 million.

Google CEO Eric Schmidt expects that there will be a delay in completing the deal due to significant review of the deal by antitrust regulators. Schmidt said, "We expect this will go through."

FT.com reports that ITA Software was founded by scientists from MIT and is used by airlines to maximize sales of seats on flights and by travel agents online to find suitable flights. ITA software makes it money from selling its software, but Google will undoubtedly add advertising to the mix once the deal is final.

BusinessWeek quotes Schmidt from a conference call about the deal stating, "Search is even more important today than ever. In looking at travel, and airline travel in particular, I think you can see that airline travel and search are a perfect opportunity for more innovation, more investment, more interesting products."

According to 
BusinessWeek, the deal will help Google fight Microsoft and Kayak.com in the lucrative travel market that generated $88.4 billion in sales last year and it will be an all cash transaction. Forrester Research analyst Henry Harteveldt said, "It’s [ITA purchase] a smart move. You are dealing with a product that has very low loyalty or preference among travelers. It’s led by scheduling and the price of the airline ticket."





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