Employees chilling out at Google’s Mountain View headquarters in California.
Google’s spending on acquisitions has gone up this year, a 10-Q filing with that Securities and Exchange Commission revels. Last year, the Mountain View, California-headquartered search Goliath acquired 48 companies. This year, however, Google already through September snapped up 57 startup in a move to strengthen its portfolio of services and expand into new areas. A textbook example: Google’s $700 million purchase of travel data company ITA Software Inc. in April, which later led to the launch of the new Travel Search service in select cities.
In September, Google acquired restaurant review guide maker Zagat for $151 million. That transaction gave the company a huge foothold in local and put the likes of Yelp and Open Table on the defensive. The Zagat move should enable Google to improve its Offers service. Google also in the same month bought another bargain offering property, German-based DailyDeal, for $114 million and in August become the owner of San Francisco-based startup Dealmap in exchange for an unknown sum. Dealmap is a daily deal service with over two million users that aggregates nearby offers on a map.
The search company also grabbed real-time bidding platform Admeld for $400 million. The service lets publishers sell ad inventory in real-time, to the highest bidder, making it a natural fit for Google’s Doubleclick for Publishers, which is part of their Publisher tools. Google is reportedly eyeing InterDigital for their patents (Samsung and others are also potential bidders) and is believed to be in talks to acquire Hulu for a sum unknown. Heck, even a potential Yahoo! takeover by Google is on the table.
Don’t forget that the $1.4 billion includes Google’s spending on acquisitions through September. That being said, and with three more months to go, Google is likely to acquire a few more companies before the year ends.
The filing excludes Google’s proposed acquisition of Motorola Mobility for a whopping $12.5 billion. As is customary, the transaction is subject to certain closing conditions, including the receipt of regulatory approvals in the U.S., the European Union and other jurisdictions, and the approval of Motorola Mobility’s stockholders. That transaction is expected to close by the end of 2011 or early 2012.
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