Google closes its API to book flights and will affect dozens of companies
In July 2010, Google confirmed the purchase of ITA, a small US company specialized in providing flight information to airlines, travel agencies and other online booking systems. The agreement was closed for 700 million dollars.
A year later, a federal judge required Google to maintain QPX , the ITA flight search and price program. They had to do it, at least, for five years, and now comes the end of this tool.
In an entry on its developer page, Google announces that it will close QPX Express on April 10, 2018. This API was created three years ago, being a cheaper version aimed at startups and smaller companies.
Google says that the reason is “the low interest” that there is about this product, but the reality is that this change could be a blow to new and existing companies related to the booking of Internet travel.
Anyway, Google says they will keep intact a version of this tool for corporate customers. Since its purchase, Google used ITA to give life to Google Flights, a platform with which they compete with Skyscanner, Kayak or Momondo.
What is clear is that this decision will leave many startups and small businesses without data that used this software, which in a few months will have to migrate to another system if they want to continue to offer reservation data to their customers.
Again, we witness the classic case of buying an independent company to end the competition . The five years ordered by the federal judge were fulfilled last year, and Google has finally set a deadline for this agreement with the companies that still used their system.