The DOJ is taking a second look at the proposed acquisition of ITA Software by Google, citing antitrust concerns. Earlier this year, Google agreed to buy ITA for $700 million in cash in order to bolster its travel division by giving customers the ability to more quickly and effectively search for airfare within Google.
I have a feeling this deal will go through, but I can’t say I’ll be sorry if the DOJ actually blocks it. Though I don’t believe there are sufficient anti-trust concerns to prohibit this acquisition, I love ITA just the way it is. I use it daily to search for airfare and find the interface, speed, and reliability of the airfare search engine remarkable. Even if I am still able to access the classic (Matrix 1) search engine once Google takes over, I am not looking forward to the Google ads that will likely be plastered all over the page.
Having said all that, if I owned ITA, I’d take the $700 million in a heartbeat.