reported that Google is in talks to buy ITA Software
, and that the latter "may seek about $1 billion." It would be one of Google's most expensive acquisitions and place it firmly in the travel industry, although ITA develops non-travel specific software, as well. Its Needlebase software for organizing and publishing data
is in "limited preview release."
"Three people familiar with the matter" told Bloomberg
that the Google-ITA talks "may not lead to a transaction." ITA officials and their owners did not respond to the news service's requests for comment. In addition to powering fare shopping for Kayak, Orbitz, Microsoft's Bing and a number of major airlines, ITA has corporate-travel relationships with Farelogix, nuTravel and Rearden Commerce. The company also built an airline reservations system, which Air Canada was supposed to launch but did not. ITA CEO Jeremy Wertheimer in September
said the company was talking to "a number of airlines" about buying that system.