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Why Google Buys Companies  (View post)

/pd [PersonRank 10]

Monday, February 25, 2008
14 years ago4,626 views

"to silence a competitor, or to prevent a competitor from acquiring it and growing too strong"

This could be the main reason, why companies are getting locked into Google. There are properties that Google needs to keep for themselves – "at all costs" for strategic purposes. (read as IP & patents')

Its not about the employee's or Data etc, thats just additional collateral. Inevitably, the employees leave and move on, so getting deep technologies expertise and talent capital seems to be a mute point.

Schultzter [PersonRank 1]

14 years ago #

I think another important reason that was overlooked was the difference between owning and renting. By buying these companies Google "owns" the data/users/tech/developers. The discussions are internalized and Google has more freedom them if they were subject to a strict licensing agreement with a 3rd party. If the objective is to innovate then a strict legal contract may mean you need a lawyer for every other employee in the company to get anything done!

Frank Taylor [PersonRank 1]

14 years ago #

Also in 2007, Google acquired Panoramio (

john stevens [PersonRank 1]

14 years ago #

and in 2007 – feedburner

Venicor [PersonRank 0]

14 years ago #

Agreed with /pd.
I wonder what project management software they would by next. Would it be The application looks a pretty strong player in the market, as they do have some uniquie features, like integration with Gmail, for example.

Andy Wong [PersonRank 10]

14 years ago #

"However, in many acquisitions Google may also want precisely the opposite, namely to increase their developer knowledge delta. Just buying a team that understands Google may not help Google tackle new problems."

This is a really good thing for any company to buy.

Stephen Tordoff [PersonRank 10]

14 years ago #

Agrees with /pd, although I'm sure that some of the purchases are for the technology / employee side of things

George Goodly [PersonRank 0]

14 years ago #

Google acquired Sprinks in 2003 simply for the purposes of quelching competition – both Sprinks and Overture (period). Sprinks had no technology, no staff of value to Google outside of market share. By pushing out Sprinks, Google gained customers and a broader distribution for AdSense. It was a predatory move and an easy kill. Sprinks was quickly dismantled and it's employees displaced or reshuffled inside of Primedia.

Google purchased Applied Semantics in 2003 for technology and engineering resources. Moreover, there was market share to be had, though not on a massive scale. Here was a company that had promising technology (and had been developing it for some time ahead of Google's efforts to do so). Google had just begun to build AdSense, and would not likely be able to parse a page of content and determine if the string "mit" was more likely to refer to a baseball glove or the east coast institutional icon of geekdom – so as to serve up a fitting advertisement. Google wasn't necessarily in the game of drawing relationships between words to determine meaning. Applied Semantics filled that void, to a certain degree. They had on staff a few capable computational linguists, and AdSense needed all of the resources it could get, as it was initially developed by internal resources that had to be pulled from the core technology: search (which didn't focus on meaning as much as it did calculating a score for the most authoritative page for a particular set of strings).

Gary Bridgman [PersonRank 0]

14 years ago #

They need to focus on what they have. The Google Groups page editing interface has been in meltdown for a month.

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