Google just loves being helpful – and being the go-to source for anything and everything you could ever wish or desire. Which is why it’s not surprising that new reports are saying Google is extending its long arm into the online travel business, and could be in talks to acquire fare-shopping developers ITA Software.
USA Today says Google is looking into paying as much as $1 billion for the company, which works on software for online travel sites like Bing Travel and Kayak. Those search sites offer a fare-only service to compare rates on flights and hotels, as opposed to sites like Orbitz and Expedia, which take consumers through the reservation process as well.
Google has also added hotel links to its Map application, listing room rates for hotels for some users. Currently, when travelers plug in their dates and cities, Google pops up with links to booking sites. That might change, but Google is keeping mum on their plans for world travel domination.
Google declined to comment about the acquisition talks. But, says Google spokeswoman Victoria Katsarou, “We always have travel in mind. We’re trying to make it easier for our users.”
However, in the past, Google has said they wouldn’t want to take away from the advertising revenue they receive from online travel agencies, which could be a signal that their interest in the travel industry would remain strictly informational.
Only time will tell. Maybe one day we’ll all name our children Google and eat Google food and live in Google houses.
Google moves into online travel business [USA Today]