Google Flights is an online flight booking service which facilitates the purchase of airline tickets through third party suppliers.
In April 2011, the Federal government of the United States approved Google's $700 million purchase of ITA Software. On September 13, 2011 Google launched Google Flights, which used algorithms gained from this purchase.
An innovation of Google Flights is that it allows open-ended searches based on criteria other than destination; for example, a user may search for flights within a range of times and a budget and be offered various destination choices.
The service was immediately compared to competitors such as Expedia, Orbitz, Kayak.com, and Bing. Competitor Kayak.com issued a statement that their service was superior to Google's and that they would be competitive.
There was no immediate change in the price of stocks for Priceline, Expedia, or Travelzoo in response to the opening of Google Flights.
Shortly after the site launched counsel for Expedia testified to the Senate Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee that Google failed to keep a promise to rank Google Flight listings below the listings of competitors in a Google search.
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