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Google Gets Go-Ahead For $700 Million ITA Takeover

The US Department of Justice has cleared Google's proposed $700 million acquisition of travel software maker ITA Software despite opposition from big travel websites like Expedia and Kayak.

In an official release, the Department of Justice said that Google will be required to adhere to the terms of the proposed settlement in order to proceed with the acquisition.

The department said that Google could continue to license ITA's QPX software to airfare websites for the next five years. The software allows travel websites to let users search for air travel fares, schedules and air ticket availability.

Google will also be required to continue to research and develop ITA software on the same level at which ITA was doing before the acquisition. The company will also be required to develop and offer ITA's InstaSearch offering to travel websites.

The search giant has also been asked to set up a firewall to prevent unauthorised access to commercially sensitive data gathered by ITA customers.

“The Department of Justice’s proposed remedy promotes robust competition for airfare websites by ensuring those websites will continue to have access to ITA’s pricing and shopping software. The proposed settlement assures that airfare comparison and booking websites will be able to compete effectively, providing benefits to consumers,” Joseph Wayland, Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division, said in a statement.