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Google’s ten biggest acquisitions revealed

3 min read

21 January 2015

Former editor

With internet giant Google outspending its five closest rivals on the M&A front during 2012 and 2013, the company’s ten largest deals are worth a combined £24.5bn.

Silicon Valley-based Google has been one of the most active acquirers in the last decade, using its deep pockets to finance the purchase of a wide range of technology – from consumer products to online video.

Unconfirmed statistics show that the firm has closed something approaching 200 acquisitions since it began snapping up other firms in 2001. From Brazil to South Korea, and Israel to the Ukraine, its dealmaking has allowed it to both experiment and secure market share.

Now, research from Aptitude has mapped out Google’s ten biggest purchases, dating back to 2006. Here are the illustrious ten.

10) 2014 acquisition of satellite technology venture SkyBox Imaging for $500m

9) 2014 acquisition of video monitoring and security technology Dropcam for $555m

8) 2007 acquisition of email and web security service Postini for $625m

7) 2010 acquisition of travel reservations software ITA for $700m

6) 2009 acquisition of mobile advert platform Admob for $750m

5) 2013 acquisition of GPS-based navigation app Waze for $966m

4) 2006 acquisition of online video platform YouTube for $1.65bn

3) 2007 acquisition of online advertising firm DoubleClick for $3.1bn

2) 2014 acquisition of smart connected products company Nest for $3.2bn

1) 2011 acquisition of mobile phone business Motorola for $12.5bn

Ironically, Google’s biggest purchase (Motorola) has largely been viewed as a failure and part-ended when it sold the Motorola Mobility element to Lenovo for $3bn in 2014.

While no UK acquisitions made the top ten, Google has bought eight British businesses – including BeatThatQuote.com, DeepMind Technologies and Phonetic Arts. Google also snapped up Irish digital video business Green Parrot Pictures in 2011.

Read more about recent acquisitions:

Debate has waged regarding what future deals Google will look to close, with music streaming service Spotify and movie streaming service Netflix generating a lot of chatter.

In deciding what makes a good acquisition, Google CEO Larry Page apparently uses the “toothbrush test”. For it to be the right fit for a purchase, Page seeks to find out if the business is something someone will use once or twice a day as well as if it would make life better.


Despite outspending its five closest rivals in the two years before January 2014, the competition that has built up in the technology sector regarding acquisitions has continued to intensify. With Facebook spending big in 2014, dropping $19bn on mobile instant messaging service WhatsApp and $2bn on virtual reality technology Oculus VR, Google will face stiff competition to secure the targets it desires.

It also probably won’t be long before Google breaks its own record. The speed at which the consumer and technology markets are changing demands acquisitions. It’s fair to say that we can expect some big cheques.