Friday, June 04, 2010

Will Google Buy ITA?

As long-time readers of the blog know, I am a fan of ITA software, the company with the fare-finding technology and search engine that powers Orbitz and several other airline web sites.  Indeed, for my recent trip to Bertinoro ITA saved my grants several hundred dollars -- they found a pair of flights involving two separate, currently non-partnered airlines at a price that couldn't be duplicated on several other sites I tried.  (The flights should, I hope, even meet NSF's unwieldy international flight rules.)

For at least six weeks, there has been buzz that Google was looking at buying ITA, for the tune of roughly 1 billion dollars.     But not much has been heard of late, with possible reasons being described in this recent post at tnooz.  Indeed, I ran into an ITA person I know "on the street" a while back and asked when I could officially congratulate them, and was politely brushed off.  

It's not clear to me if Google/ITA would be a match made in heaven or not, but I admit I'm eagerly awaiting to hear the news (one way or another).  I would place ITA in the category of companies that show that cool things that can come out of smart algorithms and data structures (see this old writeup), so I wish them success.  I think reaching the billion dollar selling point would certainly be one reasonable measure of success.

Don't be surprised to see more of this story in the news in the future.   


Geoff Knauth said...

My fingers are crossed. A friend wrote the software that started the company. I hope he kept his stock!

Arun Saha said...

Google said Thursday [July 1 2010] that it had agreed to acquire ITA, a 14-year-old flight information software company, for $700 million in cash.