Air Transport World

Google fares; ITA Software, the Cambridge, mass.-based company that revolutionized airfare shopping, could be poised to take online fare search to a higher level if its acquisition by Google is approved by the US dept. of justice.(Waypoints)(Google Inc. acquired with ITA Software Inc.)

But the deal is not a slam-dunk: DOJ has issued a second request for information, and "it will take several months" to satisfy the request, complete the transaction and begin to integrate the two companies, a Google spokesperson said.

ITA Software had its roots in an MIT computer science student's desire to find cheaper airfares to get home during breaks than he could locate by calling airlines or travel agencies (as people did in the long-ago 1990s). The student, Jeremy Wertheimer, and his friends developed a shopping system that ferreted out far more options than GDSs could. In some cases, it even could find better itineraries and lower fares than airlines' own systems.

Wertheimer founded ITA in 1996 to market the shopping engine, which eventually was named QPX. …

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