According to this news report [golem.de] Google is interested in aquiring the European travel site opodo.
Opodo currently belongs to the Amadeus IT Holding (Spain) and has an annual turnover of 53.7m Euro ($74.3m). It was put up for sale by Amadeus in September. The price tag is being reported as "400 to 500 million Euro".
The interest in opodo complements the recent acquisition of ITA, a software company focusing on ticketing solutions for the travel industry. Google spent $700m for ITA.
Well Microsoft created Expedia , and sold it's stake in 2001 as it was non core: [forbes.com...] .
So why not Google becoming a direct seller and receive all the revenue for itself. Actually , i think this will be a different play , but one thing you can say is they have the capacity to integrate a lot of data , flights , hotels , cars , travel info , maps , consumer patterns, you name it.
Will it be more advantageous than selling advertising - probably not, but they are the ones in the knowledge.
I wonder if they'll start of real estate soon - maybe the housing market's not quite ripe for the picking yet , but it can't be far off. Just digressing , .... and cars , food , gas , 2nd hand furnishings