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Google Plans to Take Over Airline Travel

07.09.10

Google plans to buy ITA Software who provides airline travel utilities to American, Continental, Hotwire, Kayak, Orbitz, Microsoft’s Bing, among other companies. Of course this purchase for $700 million will require federal scrutiny given the antitrust implications, but as my friend Erika Morphy reports “Google says it plans to honor all the agreements the firm has with its customers and does not intend to sell airline tickets. Instead, CEO Eric Schmidt said, the company plans to build new flight and fare search tools for travelers.” Google’s attempt to take control over the travel industry is an interesting evolution, but one must wonder if the acquisition of ITA Software will give monopoly power in the travel space to Google.

Google Reviewing My Final Exam Questions?

Since 2000 I have taught courses on the Law of eCommerce at the SMU Dedman School of Law and Google must have gotten the idea about taking over the travel industry from my 2008 Final Exam:

Google hired you to give e-Commerce business advice immediately after announcing that Google bought Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, IBM, Symantec, Adobe, AOL, Amazon, Yahoo!, American Airlines, Delta Airlines, United Airlines, US Air, Southwest Airlines, British Air, Cathay Pacific Air, China Air, Korean Air, Japan Airlines, Airbus, Boeing, Hilton Hotels, Marriott, Starwood, Hyatt Hotels, Hotels.com, Orbitz, and Travelocity. The combined company plans to operate from one main website located at www.google.com.

The government agencies that regulate each of these companies have not approved these mergers, regardless Google intends to begin the new website located at www.google.com  on January 1, 2009.

Assume that each of the acquired entities will continue conducting business in their current field of business.

(1) TERMS OF SERVICE. Write one set of terms of service that will apply to www.google.com.
(2) PRIVACY POLICY. Write one privacy policy that will apply to www.google.com.
(3) ASSUMPTIONS: State all assumptions.

Google got the idea from me. Right? What do you think?
 

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