Microsoft joins lobbying group battling Google ITA acquisition

Microsoft joins lobbying group battling Google ITA acquisition

Summary: Microsoft has joined a coalition consisting primarily of travel sites that is lobbying to block Google's pending acquisition of ITA Software.

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Microsoft has joined a coalition consisting primarily of travel sites  that is lobbying to block Google's pending acquisition of ITA Software.

FairSearch.org announced on December 13 that Microsoft, Foundem, Level...com, and ZUJI joined the group. Existing FairSearch.org members include Expedia.com, Hotwire, TripAdvisor, Farelogix, Kayak and Sabre Holdings.

"Today’s announcement and the coalition’s new international members signal the growing concern around the world about the broader threat the Google-ITA deal poses to travel consumers," claimed FairSearch execs in a press release. Microsoft is interested in Google's ITA proposal because its Bing Travel search site (formerly known as Farecast) is powered by ITA. ITA powers 65 percent of all online flight searches at U.S. airline sites, according to FairSearch. Previous reports have claimed Microsoft has provided information about the potential impact of the Google acquisition to U.S. antitrust authorities.

Google announced plans to acquire Cambridge, Mass.-based ITA for $700 million on July 1. Google execs have said they believe the acquisition "will create a new, easier way for users to find better flight information online, which should encourage more users to make their flight purchases online" and will benefit passengers, airlines and online travel agencies. Google execs have said Google doesn't plan to sell airline tickets to consumers and has no plans to set airfare prices.

Update: On the subject of Microsoft and travel search, the Redmondians have added a new capability to Bing to enable users to search more quickly and directly for travel info from Bing.com.

Topics: Google, Banking, Enterprise Software, Microsoft

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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8 comments
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  • this is anticompetitive instigation

    I am now writting to my conservative representative a very terse letter regarding M$ tuggish behaviour toward competition.We, the people demand justice!
    Linux Geek
    • RE: Microsoft joins lobbying group battling Google ITA acquisition

      @Linux Geek : Typical of a Linux zealot. Never thinking of the bigger picture. You complain [I'm sure about Microsoft's monopolistic attitude. Meanwhile if Google controls ITA, it will have 65% of the searches. All the others will be small potatoes.
      Gis Bun
      • RE: Microsoft joins lobbying group battling Google ITA acquisition

        @Gis Bun
        I think you are missing the point, which is how hypocritical MS is.
        kirovs@...
      • kirovs, how is it hypocritical?

        to protect your investement?
        Like Google wouldn't buy them and just put there searches first? It's not like they've been accused of doing that before... ;)
        John Zern
      • RE: Microsoft joins lobbying group battling Google ITA acquisition

        @Gis Bun,
        Actually, that's typical ABM behavior. I know it's a fine line. He didn't say anything about Linux.
        bmonsterman
  • RE: Microsoft joins lobbying group battling Google ITA acquisition

    Hmmmm. "....will create a new, easier way for users to find better flight information online, which should encourage more users to make their flight purchases online..." .... and give big fat profits to Google at the expense of travelers.

    "Google doesn?t plan to sell airline tickets to consumers and has no plans to set airfare prices." This is now and I'm sure you'll be seeing Google advertizing on the front of your ticket in the coming years. :-)

    Nope. Not anti-Google. just antiany company that has a monopoly on something that can affect everyone at one point.
    Gis Bun
  • RE: Microsoft joins lobbying group battling Google ITA acquisition

    waves @ MJF
    This is insane , every time a guy wan't to buy, build or bring a business to the internet, it involves some kind of scrutiny.I mean it lowers the value of money , if a person takes 700.$ million to a brick and mortar project "they" will wipe out 100 ghetto blocks no questions asked.
    cybursoft
  • RE: Microsoft joins lobbying group battling Google ITA acquisition

    I disagree with some of the information on FairSearch.org. It uses how google shopping works in its present form. They make it sound like google is the one selling merchandise. I've used google shopping looking for numersous listings; it will usually show things from big (and expensive) providers like BestBuy, but easily lists ebay search results just as well. Not only that, but a single product usually has more than a dozen or so sellers, along with ratings for each seller. I don't see how you can't win at that point. This is no different than waltzing into a store and seeing huge banners, watching ads, or listening to what the employees recommend to you.
    jkltechinc