ITA Software sold to Google for $700 million
ITA Software, Inc., the flight information software company based in Cambridge, and Internet search giant Google Inc. today revealed a definitive agreement for Google to acquire ITA for $700 million in cash, subject to adjustments.
Founded in 1996 by a team of MIT computer scientists, ITA makes sophisticated software for major online travel services such as Orbitz.com and Kayak.com and airlines such as Continental Airlines Inc. and Air Canada. Those companies depend on ITA software, which allows them to organize complex fare information for online shoppers.
The Globe reported on Wednesday that several travel and search website companies, along with Microsoft Corp., had formed a consortium to try and buy ITA before Google could complete a deal, according to people involved in the discussions.
Microsoft, Kayak.com, Expedia Inc., Travelport, and the European online travel service Amadeus wanted to keep ITA as it is - an independent maker of software used by many companies, according to the sources, who were not authorized to speak about the effort.
Google and ITA have offices close to each other in Kendall Square.
ITA has 500 employees, according to its LinkedIn page. In 2006, it raised $100 million in venture capital, one of the largest venture capital deals of that year, in a round led by Battery Ventures of Waltham. Another local venture firm, General Catalyst Partners of Cambridge, is an investor in both ITA and Kayak.com.