The Internet search engine company Google, Inc. is one of the largest companies in the world right now, regularly making headlines in the corporation world. Recently, they announced their acquisition of the Motorola Mobility company, for over twelve billion dollars, their largest purchase to date. Over the previous ten years, Google has acquired over one hundred companies, and like Motorola Mobility, they’ve paid a heavy price tag for many of them.
How is Google able to make its vast wealth to acquire all of these companies in the first place? Google earns most of its money, primarily through both mobile and online advertising. It is mostly known for providing the most popular internet search engine service to millions, if not billions, of people throughout the world, and at a free price. Because Google has such a popular (and simple) search engine, it is able to advertise to such a wide audience of people. But despite the fact that they make literally tens of billions of dollars each year, Google is still very strategic in the acquisitions that they make. They don’t go around and buy any company, regardless of whether it has any worth to them. Google seeks acquisition opportunities that will only benefit them in the long run. Of course, tens of billions of dollars have been spent on these acquisitions, but they have all been done to expand and enhance Google’s services and to contribute to the growth of the already behemoth company. Google also looks for opportunities to start up smaller companies, but that would in turn help Google as well.
All told, Google is one of the largest and most expanding companies today, and it won’t be surprising if the top ten acquisitions they've made in this list are eclipsed within just a few years.
10 dMarc Broadcasting - $102 million
Google acquired dMarc broadcasting for $102 million. That may seem like a large price, but to Google, it’s only pocket change. Google acquired the company because they needed a broadcasting service when they turned to commercial radio. The acquisition provided Google with a simplified way of advertising via the radio.
9 On2 Technologies - $125 million
Google acquired On2 Technologies in 2010. In 2009, Google had turned its attention back to online video streaming and eyed the rich profits that could be made from there. On2 Technologies had previously provided clients (such as Sony, Adobe, or Skype to name a few) with video compression solutions for mobile devices. Once Google had acquired On2 Technologies, they had also acquired a means to compress video, and subsequently also drew in more revenue from On2 Technologies’ previous clients too.
8 Slide.com - $180 million
Google acquired Slide.com in 2010. Slide.com is a company that developed social media apps, and Google eyed the company once they decided to enter the world of social networking themselves. Slide.com also carried some of the most popular apps available. Therefore, Google regarded Slide.com’s experience and effectiveness to be a valuable asset to Google’s own social network, Google +. However, Slide.com ended up becoming a rare example of a Google acquisition gone bad. The company went out of business two years later in 2012, forcing Google to shut down the company.
7 Admeld - $400 million
Google acquired Admeld in 2011, an advertisement optimization company based in the state of New York. They acquired the company in order to optimize their own ads and thus, increase revenues. Admeld was already well-known for working with major companies, such as the Weather Channel and Fox News. Currently, Google is working to combine Admeld with another major Google purchase, DoubleClick (which we’ll get to in a little bit).
6 Postini - $625 million
Google acquired Postini in 2007, a company launched in 1999 that deals with security communications, such as protection of message, archiving and enforcement of policy for users. All in all, Postini made a sizable name for itself by being used by over thirty thousand businesses over the globe. By the time of the acquisition, Postini became a complete Google subsidiary. Google utilized Postini by incorporating Postini’s security communications into their apps to make them more secure than ever. Users who use Google e-mail, messaging or other platforms, can also use Google Postini Services as a security tool.
5 ITA Software - $700 million
Google acquired ITA Software in 2010, a flight search engine that had built a solid reputation around the world. With their acquiring of ITA, Google was able to have the technology of their software to organize flight times, prices and data, in order to tap into the travel industry. As a result, Google could provide their platform to users on airlines and other travel agencies. So ambitious was Google’s move that many other big companies, such as Microsoft and Hotwire, began their own program to bring their platforms into the air. Today, most of Google’s travel search products are completely powered by the software they acquired from ITA.
4 Admob - $750 million
Google acquired Admob in 2009, one of the most thriving mobile-device advertising companies of all time. Since mobile devices had become such a lucrative investment by many internet companies, Google sought to acquire a company that could allow them to develop their mobile applications. Admob was among the most experienced advertising companies there were, and Google’s acquiring of it went very smoothly. In addition, both companies benefited greatly from it. Admob has continued to grow and continued to be successful, while Google has made great headway in mobile advertising.
3 YouTube - $1.65 billion
Google acquired YouTube in 2006, the number one largest video posting website, and one of the most popular websites on the web. One of the most expensive acquiring deals of all time, Google effectively (but also expensively) stepped into the online video universe. YouTube was already such a popular website in 2006, that Google saw an excellent opportunity to make a lot of revenue from advertising on the site. Both Google and YouTube are also related to an investment firm called Sequoia Capital, which had previously invested heavily into both Google and YouTube.
2 Double Click - $3.1 Billion
Google acquired Double Click in 2008, in a deal that outdid their acquiring of YouTube just two years earlier. The deal was also quite brutal, as both Google and Microsoft vied for Double Click, an online advertising platform company. Double Click was originally founded in 1995, and gained a reputation for surviving the dot com bubble. The price for Double Click steadily went up, as both Google and Microsoft increased their offers in order to buy it. Once Google eventually won the deal, it allowed the search engine company to use Double Click’s advertising technology, and to also use their networks and clients as well. A few of Double Click’s previous clients included America Online and MySpace; Double Click had supplied them with software that was state of the art, which also greatly increased the revenue figures for those sites.
1 Motorola Mobility - $12.5 billion
The most expensive Google acquisition to date is of Motorola Mobility. Google acquired the company in 2012. Motorola Mobility has long been a renowned name in the phone world, having introduced the first mobile handset, all the way back in 1983 and contributing to the mobile revolution that followed suit. Google has previously announced their intention to run Motorola Mobility, as a separate business from Google. Google acquired Motorola Mobility in order to increase the success of their Android OS, as part of the overall mobile strategy by Google. At a whopping $12.5 billion, it may be a shock if Google ever acquires a company for a higher price than that, but so far it appears that with Google, anything is possible.