Google said in an SEC filing it snapped up 40 companies through Sept. 30, spending $1.6 billion on AdMob, Slide On2 and 37 others as it seeks to compete with Facebook and others.
Google racked up 40 acquisitions for $1.6 billion through
the first three quarters of 2010, a frenetic pace of more than four per month that
recalled the buying binges of Cisco Systems in its M&A heyday.
The search engine, which revealed the numbers in a 10-Q
filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission Oct. 29, shelled out $983
million of its M&A spend on three companies for talent and technology.
it bought 37 other acquisitions for approximately $626 million in cash through
The three large buys included mobile ad provider AdMob
million); social software maker
($179 million) and video software maker On2 Technologies
The bulk of the deals, which eWEEK profiled here
included mostly smaller talent acquisitions related to social software,
where Google is facing a very real threat to its Internet dominance
from Facebook. The social network has 500 million-plus users.
Google bought social search provider
Aardvark, widget maker LabPixies, virtual currency specialist Jambool,
social aggregator Angstro and gaming provider SocialDeck. Google also
$100 million in social gaming power Zynga.
There were dozens more, covering all manners of Internet
technologies from security (reCaptcha) to mobile e-mail (reMail) to virtual
map technology (Quiksee).
The M&A spend could have soared past $2 billion if
Google had closed its deal to purchase travel software maker ITA Software, a $700
million deal that is being closely scrutinized
by the Justice Department. Google expects to close the transaction in 2011.
The company, which had $33 billion in cash through the
third quarter, vowed to continue its shopping spree into 2011 as it
seeks to fend off Facebook in social networking, Apple in mobile and
Microsoft Bing in search.
"Acquisitions will also remain an important
component of our strategy and use of capital, and we expect our current pace of
acquisitions to continue," the company said.
Keeping the talent will be crucial, too. Unfortunately for Google,
the company lost AdMob founder Omar Hamoui and others from that