Google debuts new flight search service
Google's long delayed flight search is finally taking off.
The Internet search giant closed its $700-million purchase of travel software company ITA in April after a nine-month investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice. On Tuesday Google launched a new service that displays flights and airfares and competes with travel search engines such as Microsoft's Bing, Kayak and Orbitz.
It is not yet a full-fledged service. The search feature shows results only for some U.S. cities and only for round-trip economy flights. Flights are sorted based on cost and travel time. Google directs travelers to the airline's website to purchase tickets.
Google said it would bring innovation to travel search and booking. Rival travel search companies opposed Google's acquisition of ITA, saying it would harm consumers and rivals. But antitrust officials cleared the purchase with a few conditions including requiring Google to license ITA's software to other sites that compete with Google.
-- Jessica Guynn