The Associated Press

WASHINGTON – Federal regulators are taking a closer look at Google Inc.’s (nasdaq: GOOG) plans to buy travel technology company ITA Software Inc. in a $700 million all-cash deal announced last month.

In a blog post on Friday, Google said the Justice Department has asked it for more information about the proposed acquisition, which could position the search giant to compete with popular travel sites such as Expedia, Travelocity and Orbitz.

ITA Software, a 500-employee company started in 1996 by computer scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, provides technology that helps run the reservation systems of several airlines. Google says the acquisition will provide it with tools to help consumers search for flights, compare fares and book tickets.

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