Microsoft buys Nokia for $7.2 billion. Twitter gets TweetDeck for $40 million. Facebook absorbs Instagram for $1 billion. Yahoo purchases Tumblr for $1.1 billion.
When giant tech companies gobble up another major player, the whole world stops and talks about them. However, do you know that the major firms actually purchase other companies at a rate that is much more frequent than reported in the news? Most of the time, the purchase price is not disclosed, but it is safe to say that it usually amounts to tens of millions of dollars.
Most acquisitions are made not to have and own the product itself; instead, the giant tech firms are after the talent behind those products. Thus, the products are usually phased out, even as the people who originally created it are absorbed into the company. A prime example was when Yahoo bought, then closed down the smartphone browser called Rockmelt.
So which firms have had the most purchases? Here now are the top tech companies with the biggest mergers and acquisitions.
Twitter is an online social networking and microblogging service. It allows users to send out and read tweets through messages that have a maximum limit of 140 characters. It can be accessed through Twitter’s website, text messaging or mobile device applications. Jack Dorsey created the service in 2006. Often described as the SMS of the Internet, it is now one of the ten most visited websites in the world. It has more than 500 million registered users that post around 340 million tweets per day. It also handles 1.6 billion search queries each day.
It has made 22 acquisitions since its establishment, starting off with the social search engine Summize in 2008. Its most significant purchase happened in 2011 when it paid $40 million to buy TweetDeck. In the last 12 months, it has bought Vine, Bluefin Labs and Spindle Labs.
Apple is a multinational corporation that designs, develops, creates and sells consumer electronics, personal computers and computer software. Popular for its cool and smart gadgets, the company is best known for the iPod music player, iPad tablet computer and iPhone smart phone. These hardware are backed up by software like the OS X and iOS operating systems, iTunes media brower, iLife creativity software, iWork productivity suites and the Safari web browser.
Steve Jobs founded the company in 1976, along with Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne. It is now the second largest information technology company in the world after Samsung, and the third largest maker of mobile phones after Samsung and Nokia.
It made its first of 48 purchases in 1988 when it bought Network Innovations. Its most significant purchase was made in 1997 when it bought NeXT for $404 million. Acquisitions completed within the last 12 months include Particle, WiFiSlam, Locationary, HopStop, Passif Semiconductor, Matcha, Embark, and AlgoTrim.
Facebook is an online social networking service that is considered as the most popular social media site in the world today. Mark Zuckerberg established the company in 2004 along with his classmates from Harvard, namely Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes. The site started out exclusively for Harvard students, before it expanded to other colleges in Boston, the Ivy League and Stanford University.
Users are required to register before using the site. Friends can then be searched and added, allowing the user to exchange messages with them. A personal profile can also be added and automatic notifications are sent out for certain actions.
Outside the purchase of the facebook domain that changed its name from thefacebook.com, the company has made 36 acquisitions. The first one was in 2007 when it bought Parakey. Within the next three years, it bought ConnectU for $31 million, FriendFeed for $47.5 million, and several patents from Friendster for $40 million. Its biggest purchase was done in 2012 when it bought Instagram for $1 billion. In the last 12 months, it has acquired Atlas, Hot Studio, Parse and Monoidics.
Yahoo is an Internet corporation known for its web portal, search engine and other services, including a directory, news service, fantasy sports, online mapping and video sharing. Jerry Yang and David Filo established the company in 1994. After losing some ground to rival Google, the company appointed Marissa Mayer, a former executive of Google, as President in July 2012. Within a year, it overtook Google again in terms of U.S.-based visitors.
It has made 87 acquisitions since 1997, when it bought the search engine called Net Controls for $1.4 million. Its most expensive purchase was in 1999 when it bought the Internet radio company called Broadcast.com for $5.7 billion. Other important purchases were GeoCities, eGroups, and del.icio.us. In the past 12 months, it has gone on a buying binge, acquiring 21 companies including Tumblr, Playerscale, Rondee, Rockmelt and IQ Engines.
Microsoft is a multinational company that develops, creates, licenses and supports several products and services related to computers. Bill Gates and Paul Allen established the company in 1975. It is now the largest software maker in the world based on revenues and is also considered as one of the most valuable companies.
It made its first purchase in 1987 when it bought Forethought for $14 million. Its biggest purchase was Skype in 2011 for $8.5 billion. It also bought Nokia for $7.2 billion and aQuantive for $6.33 billion. Aside from Nokia, it has also bought in the past 12 months StorSimple, MarketingPilot, id8 Group R2 Studios, MetricsHub and Netbreeze.
Google specializes in Internet services and products, including search engine, cloud computing, software and online advertising. Larry Page and Sergey Brin established the company in 1998 while studying in Stanford. It has rapidly expanded since then, as it has branched out to email services, office suite, and social networking.
In 2001, it made its first purchase when it bought Deja, a usenet service. It has since made 128 other purchases, with the most expensive being Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion. In the past 12 months alone, it has bought 11 companies, including the GPS navigation software called Waze.
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