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Short Take: SideStep joins Web travel fray

A new travel search service took off Monday, joining in the fiercely competitive online travel industry. Santa Clara-Calif.-based SideStep launched a browser plug-in, which currently works only with Internet Explorer, that lets consumers search for air travel, hotels and car rentals from more than 80 different travel companies on the Web. The service retrieves search results from real-time queries at such sites as Hertz, American Airlines and Marriott Hotels. To date, the company has raised $5.2 million from private investors.

A new travel search service took off Monday, joining in the fiercely competitive online travel industry. Santa Clara-Calif.-based SideStep launched a browser plug-in, which currently works only with Internet Explorer, that lets consumers search for air travel, hotels and car rentals from more than 80 different travel companies on the Web. The service retrieves search results from real-time queries at such sites as Hertz, American Airlines and Marriott Hotels. To date, the company has raised $5.2 million from private investors.