Government officials are letting Google proceed with its $700 million purchase of airline fare tracker ITA Software, a deal that will establish the search giant as a key player in the online travel market. The purchase gives Google control over the technology that powers the reservation systems of most major US airlines and many popular online fare-comparison services, including Kayak, TripAdvisor, and Hotwire.
But the antitrust clearance by the Justice Department comes with conditions. Google will be required to license ITA's software to other companies, and it will be prohibited from accessing any proprietary data or technology of ITA customers that resides on or runs through ITA servers. (Read more Google stories.)