Kayak Brags It Already Does Today What Google Just Paid $700 Million For

“How cool would it be if you could type ‘flights to somewhere sunny for under $500 in May’ into Google and get not just a set of links but also flight times, fares and a link to sites where you can actually buy tickets quickly and easily?”

That was Google’s exact wording for explaining why it wanted to buy ITA Software for $700 million. And, after nine grueling months of antitrust review–and agreeing to a number of severe conditions–the Justice department approved the merger.

On Monday, Kayak didn’t let the opportunity pass by to poke fun at its biggest new competitor. In a blog post, complete with a smiley-face emoticon at the end of the sentence, Kayak wrote: “Great idea, Google. Glad we thought of it…like a year ago.”

Kayak’s service–found at Kayak.com/explore–lets users enter a starting location, a month they’d like to travel, and any stipulations (such as budget) or activities (such as a beach or golf destination).

So, to answer Google’s question, Kayak found a nice $430 flight to Hawaii in May that Google’s Mountain View executives could take from the nearby San Jose airport.

(Of course, Kayak acts tough now. Never mind that it was one of the leading companies opposing the acquisition mere months ago, and is still waiting in the wings for the right moment to go public.)

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work