We all know the road to success needs some investments. And who better to teach us what the road to success is, than 3 of the most charismatic names in consumer technology and online presence? All 3 of them had to fight their way to the top, and now, they fight to stay on top. In order to get this far, they had to merge with other companies, buy companies and so on. Of course, when it came to buy companies, these were already well on their way to becoming the leaders in their fields (internet search, socialization, music and media). In order to perfect the services they offered, they had to incorporate small businesses and companies that had to offer advancements in those fields.
1. Important Companies Bought by Google – More than $21.4 Billion Invested
Google is, without a doubt, the master of the internet and internet services, putting at your disposal everything from search engine, mail to video service. But how did Google, a concept started by 2 students in a garage come to be the world’s number 1 search engine and much more than that? The answer is simple, Google risked it all and bought all the companies that had the potential to improve Google services, or could have become a threat to the company. Starting from February 12, 2001, when Google bought Deja News, later to be known as Google Groups and up until January 10, 2012, when Google made its 109th acquisition.
By far, the biggest investment Google has ever made is Motorola Mobility, for which Google payed a staggering $12.5 billion. A big gamble, but if we know anything about Google, it’s that it can transform almost anything into a success. Therefore, this incredible acquisition will only pave and make a polished road for Android’s future. Presenting you the entire list of acquisitions made by Google would be equally boring for us and for our readers, that’s why we’ve selected the most notable ones. If you want to see just how big Google really is, do check out this list.
Google Bought Search Engines to Make iGoogle, Bringing Personalized Searches
When researching for this article, I found it curious to see that the second purchase made by Google was Outride, also, a search engine at that time. Google used their know-how to bring us iGoogle, the personalized search, the kind of problem we’re having now, with sometimes, too personalized searches. Two years after buying Outride, Google bought Kaltix, a web search engine made to personalize web searches by designers Taher Haveliwala Glen Jeh and Sepandar Kamva. It was said at that time that Kaltix’s personalized search could have been a real threat to Google’s system.
Apparently, the rumors had a solid basis and the company was bought for an undisclosed amount. I understand Google’s management, in those times of tech pioneers, it would have been a real threat to let survive another company that could threaten your magical product. The “hunt” for search engines didn’t stop here. Google bought Orion in 2006 and with that finally strengthened their search engine system.
Some of the most important purchases that Google made in the past contributed to what we know today as Google. They did pay a lot of money to kill competition and to ensure that only they have the best product available. These are but a few of Google’s purchases, but they represent the advancement of Google and the backbones of most of Google’s services we know today.
- April 2003 – Google buys Applied Semantics, this would be the base for AdSense and AdWords
- October 2003 – The Blogging service Genius Labs changes ownership, in favor of Google. It will later become Blogger
- July 13, 2004 – Picasa is bought by the giant and continues with the same name
- August 17, 2005 – Google purchases Android, one of the best mobile operating systems in the world
- March 9, 2006 – Upstartle is the newest addition to the growing Google family, this will later be known as Google Docs
- October 9, 2006 – Google hits the jackpot, buying YouTube, today, the world’s number 1 video sharing platform
- April 13, 2007 - The biggest investment at the time, DoubleClick, to further strenghten AdSense and AdWords
- February 17, 2010 – reMail is bought by Google and later transformed into Gmail
- August 15, 2011 – Motorola Mobility is acquired for an incredible 12.5 Billion dollars amount
2. Vital Acquisitions Made by Apple – More than $2.1 Billion so far
Google’s biggest competitor in the world of IT, mainly in the OS and smartphone market is Apple. Apple is the authority when it comes to portable media, such as music. Although, they did not start in the music player business, Apple had something that not many IT companies had: vision. They only needed an idea, they went with it and they made an instant success out of it.
Many would say that Steve Jobs was the driving force behind Apple, and maybe they are right, but even so, Apple has overcome all of its setbacks, and since it was founded in 1976, it has shown us that technology can be beautiful, functional and simple. Just like Google, Apple had to merge with other, smaller companies to keep up with the rise in technology, although, the list isn’t as long as Google’s, it still illustrates Apple’s rise and struggle to keep up with the advances in technology.
From March 2, 1988 up until February 7, 1997 Apple made some key acquisitions that would help them “make a name for themselves” (not the best choice of words, since Apple had already made a name by 1997, but still). These purchases made possible the release of the Mac OS X. Other important purchases that made Apple what we know today are:
- February 7, 1997 – Apple buys its “own company” from Steve Jobs, NeXT
- November 3, 1999 – Raycer Graphics, a Computer graphic chip design used later by Apple for its Macs, iPhones and other devices.
- April 11, 2000 – Astarte-DVD Authoring Software, technology used by Apple to develop iDVD
- March 2005 – Apple buys Schemasoft, a software company that would help Apple develop iWork
- April 2005 – FingerWorks is added to Apple’s files, this purchase is one of the most prominent Apple has ever made. This gesture recognition company paved the way to the Apple multitouch iOS.
- April 24, 2008 and April 27, 2010 – Apple bought companies that developed microprocessors (P.A. Semi and Intrinsity), the base for the A4 and A5 microprocessors.
- December 6 2009 - Apples buys Lala.com to provide the needed skeleton for iCloud and iTunes Match
- April 27, 2010 – Siri, this does not need any introduction, Apple buys the company that developed this software and integrated it beautifully
- December 20, 2011 – Apple decided to buy the flash memory company from Israel Anobit, a good move in my opinion, and a step forward for the Apple smartphones.
These are just a few of Apple’s purchases over the years. These purchases keep a record of Apple’s and we can see all the moves they made to make it on top. We can clearly see that Apple’s no match to Google when it comes to mergers and acquisitions but maybe they don’t need so many mergers to be made. What the future brings, we can only guess.
3. Notable Companies/Products Acquired by Facebook, More Than $230 Million
The new kid on the block and the main competitor for Google in the online segment is Facebook. This site is the brainchild of Mark Zuckerberg, and in no time, it has become the number 1 social network in the world. But to maintain its position as the leader of the pack when it comes to social networks, Facebook must come with new and interesting things. The battle against Google+ is a tough one. The first purchase for Facebook was, of course, its name, on August 23, 2005, when it changed from thefacebook.com to facebook.com.
Obviously, Facebook didn’t have to invest that much money as Google and Apple did, since they are operating as a single website and no matter how popular it is, there isn’t too much one can do to improve it besides hiring brilliant minds and being better than the competition. The company bought some more services and companies since then:
- July 19, 2007 – Facebook buys Parakey, the building block for Facebook Mobile
- August 10, 2009 - Facebook acquires FriendFeed and gets onboard some talented engineers
- November 15, 2010 – Facebook buys FB.com domain, for a staggering $8.5 mil
- March 20, 2011 - The most recent and important buy, Snaptu, the mobile app developer company
Facebook has made some more purchases, that allowed it to develop messenger, groups and photos. Companies such as Rel8tion, Beluga, DayTum, Mail Rank etc. All of these had a crucial role in the development of Facebook and the fight to keep Facebook on top. All of them have worked hard to make it to the top and keep their well earned positions. They purchased companies for millions to improve their services and to keep their users happy. The fight is far from over, who knows what services they will provide in the future, we’ll just have to wait and see.