Google is on a shopping spree! It is buying a company almost every other day. And these acquisitions are not made in a hurry or just for the sake of it. Every acquisition has been a very strategic investment for Google and its businesses.
But what is Google heading towards? Is this going to be a monopoly? I guess it’s already a monopoly (well almost..). Google has acquired almost everything that we pretty much use on the Internet. From search to Gmail to Orkut to You Tube, we literally live in the Google World everyday. It has been voted as the No.1 Brand in the world (source: http://www.brandchannel.com/start1.asp?fa_id=352 ) and I guess no one would question that.
Is it going to be the next Microsoft, monopolizing the software world? You know how people started hating Microsoft as it got bigger. There were many reasons for this, let us list a few. It created wealth for itself and its promoters. Nothing came for free. User experience was compromised. Innovation took a back seat. It lost the agility (It took more than half a decade to release Windows Vista). Microsoft failed to win the hearts of the people. Or may be they did not care.
However, Google is a different story. Google has always believed in giving service for free. It created wealth not only for itself but for everyone. Innovation was the key. Great customer experience was its hallmark. It is agile as hell. Almost everyday they release a new feature. It is called the concept of perpetual beta. Google on a whole with its sundry services is a perpetual beta, where in the service never reaches a major end point. There is always mystery and eagerness to know what Google will do next. This happened because, Google won the crowd. Every click on Google will make money for somebody. That somebody is ‘us! we people’.
So, are we worried whether Google is going to monopolize the world? The answer is NO! Because, monopoly by Google means better experience for everyone for no money from our pockets!!!! Geee.. so…we love Google!!!!!
With curiosity, I was looking around the Internet to see what were the acquisitions done by Google till now. And I was surprised to a see a huge list.
Here is the list of Google’s acquisitions*:
February, 2003 Pyra Labs for Blogger. (for undisclosed sum)
April, 2003 Neotonic Software for CRM technology. (for undisclosed sum)
April, 2003 Applied Semantics for Advertising technology. (for $102 million)
30-Sep-03 Kaltix for Search engine technology. (for undisclosed sum)
10-May-04 Ignite Logic for Website creation technology. (for undisclosed sum)
23-Jun-04 Baidu (2.6% stake) for Chinese language search engine. All shares were sold in June, 2006 (for $5 million)
13-Jul-04 Picasa. for Photo management software. (for undisclosed sum)
27-Oct-04 Keyhole, Inc. for Mapping software; used in Google Earth. (for undisclosed sum)
Sept.-Dec., 2004 Where2 for Mapping software; used in Google Maps. (for undisclosed sum)
Sept.-Dec., 2004 ZipDash for Used in Google Ride Finder. (for undisclosed sum)
2005 2Web Technologies for Web-based spreadsheet. (for undisclosed sum)
2005 Phatbits for Widgets engine. (for undisclosed sum)
28-Mar-05 Urchin Software Corporation for Web analysis. (for undisclosed sum)
12-May-05 Dodgeball for Social networking. (for undisclosed sum)
July, 2005 Reqwireless for Web browser and Mobile email. (for undisclosed sum)
7-Jul-05 Current Communications Group for Broadband internet. (for $100 million – partial investment)
17-Aug-05 Android – Software for Handheld devices. (for undisclosed sum)
November, 2005 Skia for Graphics software. (for undisclosed sum)
17-Nov-05 Akwan Information Technologies for Latin American internet operations. (for undisclosed sum)
20-Dec-05 AOL (5% stake) for Internet. (for $1 billion)
17-Jan-06 dMarc Broadcasting for Radio advertising software and platform. $102 million
14-Feb-06 Measure Map for Blog analysis. (for undisclosed sum)
9-Mar-06 Upstartle for Writely, online word processing. (for undisclosed sum)
14-Mar-06 @Last Software for SketchUp, 3-D modeling. (for undisclosed sum)
9-Apr-06 Orion for Advanced search method. (for undisclosed sum)
15-Aug-06 Neven Vision for Computer vision (for undisclosed sum)
31-Oct-06 JotSpot for Website applications (for undisclosed sum)
November, 2006 YouTube for Video sharing (for $1.65 billion)
December, 2006 Endoxon for Mapping solutions (for $28 million)
January, 2007 Xunlei (partial acquisition) for Network, file-sharing. (for undisclosed sum)
February, 2007 Adscape for Video game advertising (for $23 million)
March, 2007 Trendalyzer for Software (for undisclosed sum)
April, 2007 Tonic Systems for Presentation software (for undisclosed sum)
April, 2007 Marratech video conferencing software for Video conferencing (for undisclosed sum)
11-May-07 GreenBorder Technologies for Desktop enterprise security (for undisclosed sum)
1-Jun-07 Panoramio for Geospatial Photo-sharing Service (for undisclosed sum)
3-Jun-07 FeedBurner for Online RSS Feeds (for $100 million)
5-Jun-07 PeakStream for Parallel Processing (for undisclosed sum)
June, 2007 Zenter for Presentations Software (for undisclosed sum)
2-Jul-07 GrandCentral for VOIP Phone Aggregation (for $45 million)
Google bought 4 companies in the last month itself. And one company, GrandCentral just yesterday!!!!
So, as I said It’s Google’s World! We just live in it!
Cheers to Google!