DOJ Approves Of Google’s $700 Million ITA Software Acquisition

Published: 18 April 2011 y., Monday

The Justice Department cleared Google’s $700 million acquisition of travel software company ITA. The DOJ said that if Google complied with a proposed settlement, Google could in fact buy the company.

The DOJ said last week that if Google didn’t agree to the terms of the settlement, the search giant would be face an antitrust lawsuit. The DOJ requires that Google develop and license travel software, establish internal firewall procedures and to continue to fund software research and development in the industry.

And Google will be required to continue to license ITA’s airfare search software to airfare websites on commercially “reasonable terms” and continue to fund for that software at similar levels to what ITA has invested in recent years. Google is also mandated to further develop and offer ITA’s next generation InstaSearch product, which is currently in development, to travel websites.

The company will also have to safeguard ITA data from its own employees (to prevent insider info-trading), and avoid agreements with airlines "that would inappropriately restrict the airlines' right to share seat and booking class information with Google's competitor."

The settlement provides for a formal reporting mechanism for complainants if Google breaks any of these terms.


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