So, some of the big guns of the industry are starting to give their reaction to the Google-ITA Software deal. And, others are privately voicing their concerns.
TripAdvisor chief executive Steve Kaufer says the acquisition is a "significant and clear signal" of the search giant's interest in the travel sector.
"But, as a media company, TripAdvisor uniquely delivers hotels and other advertisers with one of the most highly qualified audiences of travel consumers anywhere.
"We expect TripAdvisor to maintain its leadership position in the travel category, and to continue being an important resource for travelers and a key lead generator for hotels and other advertisers."
Kaufer goes on to predict that the deal will not have any "significant impact" on the business, claiming the company remains well poised to "continue innovating".
Priceline says it stands by comments made in June when president and CEO Jeff Boyd said if Google buys ITA Software and leverages the technology to deliver better-qualified customers to Priceline and other online travel agencies, then Google’s foray into vertical, travel search would represent an opportunity for Priceline.
Chris Loughlin, the new CEO of Travelzoo, says of the deal: "We don't necessarily see any impact in the short term." Calling it a "fine deal," Loughlin says he doesn't see any reason why Travelzoo's Fly.com and ITA Software would cease working together.
Asked what if Google and ITA launched a flight metasearch product to compete with Fly.com, Laughlin replies: "'What if' is one of the most useless terms in the English language."
When pressed, however, Laughlin says Fly.com isn't solely reliant on ITA Software and could find another solution.
In fact, Justin Soffer, Fly.com's general manager, North America, says in addition to ITA, Fly.com access data from online travel agencies, direct connects with airlines, Amadeus and Travelfusion. Soffer says Fly.com has great relationships with ITA and Google and intends to "stay the course for now."
But such buoyant talk is not reflected in the backchannels elsewhere in the industry.
One company boss says:
"It [the deal] speaks volumes that a consortia of significant online travel players are prepared to gather together to put in a counter offer. Everyone admires Google but this seems to cross a line."
Another points darkly at what is turning into the increasingly important ecosystem graphic Google produced at the time of the announcement - a move to name a number of companies in the sector, perhaps anticipating tough questions in the coming months through anti-trust hearings.
"This is not over by any means," the executive continues. "There will be some who failed earlier this week to stir things up through the [Wall Street] Journal leak that are still powerful enough to push all this to the limit."
A senior UK executive says the news should be digested over more than just a "few lazy summer weekends" and "hasty judgements must be avoided".
Nevertheless, pointing to the real estate on Google search results for hotels, he simply adds: "Imagine how even more compelling those search results would be if they had product search alongside them?"
UPDATE: Now that a few days have gone by since the deal announcement, additional reaction is coming in.
Thorvald Stigsen, founder and CEO of Momondo, says:
"Google's enterance into this vertical search space will have a great impact. For one, it will help consumers understand the difference between meta-search/price-comparision and OTAs. This could help us, as we still meet a lot of confusion from consumers. Momondo stands strong in the comparision space as we have a good global coverage of low cost airlines that are not included in the major GDS's, and we have been preparing for this shift, building up a clear brand identity. I think it will make our day to day work more interesting. I mean, the travel space is huge, and there is space for all of us. When Google entered the hotel review space they didn't knock out TripAdvisor, who still has a growing base of visitors... Google still has to prove that they can bring this to a success. ITA is not a wonder-pill, and I hope that Google will demonstrate a good level of innovation.
"Google's challenge will be to enter this space without cannibalising their current revenue stream. I believe they will use the platform as an extended manner of AdWords towards the OTAs and airlines. Why should they move away from this scalable and pleasant business model? My concern, from a consumers point of view, is that this will make their solution incomplete, favouring the big players willing to pay for traffic. From a competitor's view, this is my hope and belief... and Momondo will continue to be the independant and unbiased player in flight comparison."
So should regulatory authorities step in to block the deal?
"No," Stigsen says. "All the talk about this is hyping Google's enterance to an unreasonable level. The travel space is huge and a large number of players will fill up the market and new innovations will continue to change the landscape. As I mentioned, Google's entrance into the hotel review space has not put Tripadvisor out of business, and nor will Google's enterance into flight-search kick us out of business. I hope and I am confident that Google's enterance will awaken the business and make us all work harder for innovating and differentiating. At the end of the day that is what makes it fun to go to work, no?"