30 July 2010

The Phony War is Over. Google's Charm Offensive Fails

Yes Folks that nice gentlemanly manner of talking about the Google/ITA acquisition like its all OK boys seems to have ended. The real war (of words) is just starting and its not going to be nice.

In the one corner you have Google's Travel team out telling the world - don't worry be happy - its all good and we are not out for world domination. On the other hand you have the very clear picture that Google IS out to change the world, and those people who think its their world are none too happy about it.

Down Under Claire Hatton - Google's point person in Asia Pac for travel was quoted today in the Australian Edition of Travel Weekly with:

"Google: we won’t take on agents".

Yet at the same time in the Expedia (arguably the world's largest Travel Agent) Q2 results - Head man Dara was issuing dire warnings about the impact of the deal. On TNooz today:

Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told analysts during the company’s Q2 2010 earnings call late yesterday that the Google-ITA Software deal could have “very significant consequences” on the sector. Highlighting Google’s “considerable market power”, Khosrowshahi said one of the main areas which Expedia will be monitoring is whether the search giant favours its own content and results over those of existing advertising partners, “whether it’s algorithmic, inside their system or hard coded”.

So boys and girls there you have it. And its not blunderbusses at dawn - its all out war - there will be casualties and of course there will be collateral damage - that is going to affect a heck of a lot of people.

Dara did add that he was all right Jack: (Also from the same TNooz piece) “We’re very happy, especially with Google buying ITA, that we’ve got the BFS team and makes us worry a bit (sic) less about what the potential consequences of that transaction could be, at least for us.”

Let's see if his technology team really are up to the battle. Will Expedia create a coalition to combat this dire threat? Or if they will have to import some external help from say Eastern Europe to keep the dreaded Hun at bay?

This, my friends means that it is time to batten down the hatches and prepare for a long and arduous conflict for all of us.


Reporting From Berlin - The Professor will be back to normal and full time next week.

No comments: