Google acquired a whopping 57 companies of various assets through September, according to an SEC filing. With three months left to go in the year, anyone want to guess what else is on the radar?
Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) spent more than $1.4 billion to
purchase 57 companies of various sizes and persuasions, blasting apart the
company's previous record of 48 acquisitions from 2010.
The search engine
provider revealed in a
10-Q filing with that Securities and Exchange Commission
that it paid $941
million in cash for three deals alone.
That sum includes $676 million for flight software provider ITA Softwar
e in April;
$151 million for restaurant review guide maker Zagat; and
$114 million for daily deals asset Daily Deals
, both in September.
Google paid another $502 million on the other 54
companies, which include These acquisitions were not material individually or
in aggregate, according to Google. Google also bid in August to acquire
Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion, but that isn't likely to close until 2012,
due to current regulatory scrutiny.
Google isn't done with M&A either. The company spent that much and
picked up that many assets only through September, which means that it acquired
more than 6 companies a month to date. With 3 months left in the new year, it's
possible Google could tack another 10 or 15 purchases before 2012.
Why buy all of these companies and what's the grand plan?
Most of the buys have been cloud-based players that bolster the company's local
search, advertising, video and social
Ultimately, Google is weaving a fresh tapestry of Web services and
applications into its Google+ social network, which it hopes to make
the center of the user experience.
ITA has been leveraged in Google Flight Search. Zagat
will be used in Google Places for local business search.
Daily Deals, along with loyalty card provider Punchd
, coupon provider
and daily deals aggregator DealMap
will likely be used to fortify the Google Offers
deals and Google Wallet mobile payment services.
Google's YouTube arm bought video producer Next New Networks
, which is being used to help fashion new channels on YouTube, as well as Fflick for social sentiment analysis
and Green Parrot Pictures
for video processing.