MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA - JANUARY 31: People walk near a sign outside of Google headquarters January 31, 2007 in Mountain View, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Silicon Valley giant Google is buying ITA Software in a $700 million deal that provides the Internet search leader with more comprehensive information about airline flights.
The acquisition announced Thursday could signal Google Inc.'s intention to mount a challenge to other online travel services such as Expedia and Orbitz.
ITA Software Inc., based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, was created in 1996 by MIT computer scientists.
"ITA's very talented team has created an impressive product to organize flight information," Eric Schmidt, Chairman and CEO of Google Eric Schmidt said in a press release. "Their technology opens exciting possibilities for us to create new ways for users to more easily find flight information online, and we're looking forward to welcoming them to Google."