Google's girth means no deal happens easily

Summary:Google's spat with online travel companies over the announced acquisition of ITA Software reflects its new reality. Google's girth means that any acquisition over $500 million or so is going to face intense scrutiny.

Google's spat with online travel companies---and regulators---over the announced acquisition of ITA Software reflects its new reality. Google's girth means that any acquisition over $500 million or so is going to face intense scrutiny.

The war of words today can be found on Google's blog and a group called FairSearch.org. Travel sites such as Expedia and Travelocity are arguing that Google will have too much clout with the purchase of ITA. After all, Google could just license the ITA data.

FairSearch.org is a coalition of travel companies opposing Google's ITA deal. The group includes: Expedia and its Hotwire and TripAdvisor; Farelogix; KAYAK, and its brand SideStep; and Sabre Holdings, which owns Travelocity. The issue for FairSearch.org is that ITA is behind 65 percent of online flight searches. Google's clout could squeeze online travel companies.

Google argues that it merely wants ITA to show airfares and schedules when users search for flights. Google says that ITA only analyzes data so it's not a competitive threat. The company added that online travel companies already have ITA rivals.

The big picture here: Something as simple as acquiring ITA raises hackles. At some point, Google, like Microsoft, will be hampered by its inability to acquire companies because of regulators. Whether it’s the AdMob purchase or ITA, Google will have a tough time completing any deal.

Topics: Google

About

Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

zdnet_core.socialButton.googleLabel Contact Disclosure

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.