Google intends to "provide shoppers with a much richer and interactive shopping experience and help drive traffic to retailers' websites."
Is Google talking about its intent to improve the flight-search experience if its deal to buy ITA Software gets approved by the U.S. Justice Department?
The above quote comes from Boutiques.com, a just-launched Google fashion metasearch website, where shoppers compare boots and other designer fashions on the website and then go purchase them at retailers' websites.
The plan, according to a Wall Street Journal artricle, is for Google to develop ways to push fashion-conscious consumers from Google.com to Boutiques.com, which will make money through advertising and referral fees.
Could Boutiques.com be a model for Google's plans with ITA Software?
After all, Google stated when it announced the ITA Software deal in July that Google will create a “new, easier way for users to find better flight information online.”
Designer clothes and airfares -- OK, they are not the same thing.
But, many people believe that Google inevitably will launch a full-fledged travel metasearch website to compete with the likes of Kayak and Bing Travel, imposing its will on these travel metasearch sites and hiking advertising rates for the gamut of online travel agencies and airlines.
So far, though, there has been no huge outcry about Google's Boutiques.com deal or a push for a regulatory probe:)