Google has received the green light to the acquisition of ITA Software, which provides online information airlines. U.S. authorities require it, however, under strict conditions.
Last summer, Google announced it had released $ 700 million to repurchase ITA Software, a software company based in Cambridge and specializes in aerial information. Google wants to leverage this acquisition to include better information on air travel in its search function. It is not only flight schedules, but also to availability and prices. The objective is to achieve a better trading experience ‘for all those looking for a plane ticket at the right price.
But as ITA products are also available to other companies, including Microsoft, for example which processes data in the robot research Bing, there followed an antitrust investigation that lasted eight months. The U.S. government has now agreed the takeover, but Google requires some strict conditions. Thus, the ITA products must also be offered to existing customers and other third parties, thus also including Google’s competitors, like Microsoft. This transaction is also subject to a deadline: the licensing model for software ITA must remain until 2016. In addition, U.S. authorities intend to ensure that barriers are erected necessary to ensure that intellectual property is protected ITA customers of Google.
Nevertheless, the transaction may still fail, because important details, such as the agreement (of prices) between Google and the various travel websites, must still be completed. If not, Google should not do, this could lead to a new legal battle. Initially, Google is satisfied and intends to quickly integrate its purchase of a new robot research.
All problems are not solved so far for Google. Thus the looming threat of an antitrust investigation on a larger scale by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. Remains to be seen whether this investigation will take place. In addition, the European Commission also intends to look more closely at Google’s business operations.