Bloomberg’s Businessweek is reporting that Google is in talks to purchase ITA Software Inc., the company that acts as the brains behind travel sites such as Orbitz. The reported going price? A cool billion. Yes, with a B.
ITA Software is a Cambridge, MA based company that specializes in software solutions for airlines and travel arrangement companies. Along with Orbitz, ITA’s software is used by Bing Travel, Kayak.com and CheapTickets.
Microsoft has steadily gained market share on Google in search, due in part to the ITA Software integration and ability to find trip information on Microsoft products. With Google’s implementation of more search features, it is likely that we’re seeing Google position itself to re-take that lost ground by providing travel results of its own.
What’s up Google’s sleeve for certain? Time will tell. But keep your eyes open on this one. Rest assured that we will be, as well.