Amadeus among new backers for Google-ITA pressure group

Amadeus has voiced support for a growing group of travel technology companies lobbying against search giant Google’s planned $700 million acquisition of ITA Software, the flight search technology that powers many industry websites.

New members of FairSearch.org include UK-based price comparison search engine Foundem, French online travel agency Level.com and Singapore-based online travel company ZUJI.

Microsoft, which operates decision engine Bing and uses ITA Software to power its flight search tool, is also backing the coalition which is urging the US Department of Justice to challenge Google’s proposed purchase on anti-trust grounds

Amadeus president and CEO David Jones issued a statement supporting the FairSearch efforts.

“Amadeus supports the core principles of FairSearch.org to promote transparency and choice for consumers whilst fostering innovation in online search,” he said.

“While we are still considering our involvement in any coalition effort, we share the concern that the proposed merger of Google and ITA Software could affect travellers around the world.

“The outcome of this debate is extremely important to both the future of the online travel industry and the internet as a whole, and we urge regulators to carefully scrutinise the deal to ensure consumers are protected from potential harm.”

Fairsearch claims acquiring ITA Software would give Google control over the software that powers most of its closest rivals in travel search.

It could enable Google to “manipulate and dominate” the online air travel marketplace.

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