bw100 - 10:32 pm on Jul 28, 2011 (gmt 0)
Wonder how Hotels.com and other major players that Google has lured into the fray over the years feel about this?
If Google can drive significant traffic their way, they might be somewhat happy, temporarily.
And, they can always increase their Adwords spending.
(Smooth move on Google's part: "feeding" the competition while you stifle them).
They are being investigated by authorities in the USA and Europe, and they pull a stunt like this?
IMO, Google has actually been pretty savvy about the current investigational climate, and their offerings in this experiment. At this moment, they are not booking hotels directly. This could easily be interpreted by the DOJ and FTC as Google not competing with booking companies, but actually cooperating with them in a business relationship that will drive traffic to their sites.
These guys are slick, and this is not the engineers at work, this is the MBAs and lawyers performing.