You’re Now Flying Air Google

Google could receive government clearance as early as Friday to purchase airline fare tracker ITA Software in a $700 million deal that could make the search leader the hub of online travel.

That’s according to a person with knowledge of the matter. Although talks could still fall apart, Google Inc. appears close to a deal on an agreement that would let it buy ITA. The person says Google must accept government conditions to protect other companies in the travel industry. The person was not authorized to discuss the review and spoke on condition of anonymity. The acquisition would give Google control over software that powers the reservation systems of most major U.S. airlines and many popular online fare-comparison services, which fear Google could deny them access to the software.

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