After laying out $700 million for travel software and dealing with an antitrust probe, Google announced that it's adding flight data to its search engine today.
The new feature will come up when anyone searches for flights to and from a destination and is available in 10 languages, according to Petter Wedum, Google software engineer.
Google has been in negotiations to use the travel software it acquired when it bought ITA Software last July, but was hit with a federal antitrust probe fueled by opposition from travel sites and Microsoft. The federal case is still under investigation. The new flight data in Google's current search does not use ITA's software, according to TechCrunch.
Perhaps Google is creating a placeholder for when it can use its new software, obviously confident the case will go its way. Or maybe Google is attempting to show its opponents that it's not afraid to compete with them on any level, even if it's one lower than initially anticipated.
As previously mentioned, we think the federal probe is unjust and Google should be allowed to use the new software. Blaming someone else because of a bad business model (such as Kayak) or because Google is a rival in a different arena (such as Bing) isn't about antitrust, but about fear of competition.