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Google tests selling travel amid concern over market power

March 14, 2019 Headline News 1 Comment Email Email

Search giant Google is working on selling bundled flights and hotels via its travel search results, displaying air and hotel combinations pulled together in an automated process.

The bombshell development was revealed by Oliver Heckmann, a Google vice president of engineering who heads the search engine’s travel product.

Heckmann was speaking at the first Skift Forum Europe and his comments were reported by Skift, the US-based travel industry news, research, and marketing services platform.

Users of Google’s destination product in France and Germany would be first to see Google’s experimental sales of flight and hotel packages, Heckmann said. He added that the product, which is still being tested, is not concerned solely with selling leisure packages but represents a “differentiated experience” that lets searchers choose whether to buy individual travel components separately or together.

Skift revealed that Distribute Travel, a UK-based travel technology vendor, and Peakwork, which performs the same function in Germany, are both helping with Google’s experiment.

Packages are big in Europe and Google aims to let allow users decide whether it’s best to book a flight with accommodation or separately.

Initially, package rates are being pulled from Lufthansa Holidays and Air Berlin Holidays and Google is holding discussions with travel giant TUI as well.

The development comes amid growing concern over the enormous power wielded by Google, along with the likes of Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, Amazon and other online, computer-based and social media behemoths.

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp has called for Google to be broken up in Australia.

In a petition to Australian regulators, News Corp is reported to have complained that “Google enjoys overwhelming market power in both online search and ad tech services” and that Google is “abusing its dominant position to the detriment of consumers, advertisers and publishers”.

Analysts view News Corp’s moves as an escalation of the worldwide struggle between Murdoch, Google and Facebook.

News Corp is itself a huge enterprise. The Australian operation is a subsidiary of US-based News Corp, which owns the Wall Street Journal. Murdoch and his family also control numerous newspapers in Australia and Britain and, in the US, the media-entertainment conglomerate 21st Century Fox, owner of the Fox News Channel – said to be President Donald Trump’s favourite TV viewing.

Written by Peter Needham

Currently there is "1 comment" on this Article:

  1. bruce weston says:

    wow short memory folks – not so long ago a company called newscorp tried , and almost did , take over the worlds media he was pretty ruthless – now the worm has turned hahah

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