Washington – Fearing the deal could give Google (NASD: GOOG) too much
power in the travel search market, the Justice Department is poised to block
the Silicon Valley company’s $700 million acquisition of Massachusetts-based
ITA Software, barring last-minute negotiations, Politico reported. ITA’s
software is used by most major airlines and travel distributors to organize
flight information.

Clients include American, Continental, Southwest, United,
US Airways and Virgin Atlantic, as well as online travel sites including
Hotwire, Kayak, Orbitz and TripAdvisor.

Since Google first announced the deal
in July, the online travel industry has sought to block the acquisition,
alleging the company’s dominance in search would give it an unfair advantage.

key to saving the deal, say industry insiders, could be Google’s willingness to
continue giving rivals access to the software under reasonable licensing terms.



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