google plane Google gets into the travel business; acquires ITA.It’s interesting, as we’ve talked about Google getting into the travel business before, but today it’s official.  Google has signed an agreement to acquire ITA Software for $700 million, according to the Google Blog.

While Bing runs up its market share with travel search features, Google has surely noticed.  ITA is a Boston-based company that specializes in organizing airline data.  According to the blog:

While online flight search is rapidly evolving, we think there is room for more competition and greater innovation. Google has already come up with new ways to organize hard-to-find information like images, newspaper archives, scholarly papers, books and geographic data. Once we’ve completed our acquisition of ITA, we’ll work on creating new flight search tools that will make it easier for you to search for flights, compare flight options and prices and get you quickly to a site where you can buy your ticket.

For those who might be wondering, Google will be honoring all previous agreements with ITA customers.  Google is simply, it seems, trying to broaden the choices for travelers.  As detailed in the press release for the acquisition, too few companies offer too few choices, and Google would like to change that.  Profitably, of course.

online travel ecosystem 500x340 Google gets into the travel business; acquires ITA.