Google M&A More Social Than Mobile

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2010-09-22 Print this article Print

Two interesting pieces came to light regarding Google's torrid acquisition spree.

CBI Insights put together these charts on the subject Sept. 19, while Reuters snagged a rare interview with Google M&A head David Lawee.

How fast has Google's shopping spree been this year? Since I published this piece about Google's gluttony Sept. 1, the company has grabbed QuikSee, just two weeks after grabbing SocialDeck.

At the current pace of one purchase every two weeks, Google is due to buy another company next week. What will it be?

Counting 23 acquisitions for 2010 through the first three quarters of the year, CBI noted that Google's purchase pace nearly totals all of Google's buys from 2007 through 2009.

Of course, note that Google's M&A well dried up for much of 2008 and 2009, when we hit a mini-recession. This CBI chart has a good breakdown:

Google M&A 1.png

Of course, it's been well documented how most of Google's acquisition this summer have been social in nature. CBI made a good point to this:

Given all the chatter about Android and the general emergence of mobile, the data surprisingly shows that Google's acquisition activity remains heavily focused on internet software and services with 20 of 23 acquisitions being internet companies and only 2 being mobile firms.

So, what about that? Why not mobile firms beyond AdMob and reMail? Lawee inadvertently answered that question in his comments to Reuters when he noted:

"How much do you think we would sell Android for today? I would argue it would be in the billions and billions of dollars, it's worth a lot of money."

It sure is racing up the mobile depth chart in the United States, passing Windows Mobile to challenge Apple, then RIM in market share. So, Google's mobile centerpiece has been soundly established as Android.

With AdMob, Google now has the ability to monetize mobile via ads on not only Android but all platforms that choose to use it, including iOS.

Any other acquisitions at this point would be small, like reMail, designed for competitive advantage or to fill in holes.

It's now clear that while Google may have touted mobile as its next big M&A target on conference calls in the early part of the year, Facebook, not Apple, is Google's chief target.

Hence the flurry of purchases that included Slide, Jambool, Angstro and SocialDeck, not to mention the as-yet-unrevealed partnership with social gaming giant Zynga. |

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