In the tech industry, acquisitions are a fact of life. Big companies
look to acquisitions for innovation and talent, and many entrepreneurs
hope that their hard work will one day result in their creations being
When it comes to who is doing the acquiring in 2010, Google is at the
head of the pack. In search of technologies and services that
compliment its initiatives, and perhaps even the next big thing, the
search giant has snapped up 23 companies this year according to CB
Thanks to the rise of massive social networks, namely Facebook, and a
multi-billion dollar virtual currency market, social gaming has become
one of the hottest spaces on the consumer internet.
But there's another reason social gaming is so hot: it is putting the
'casual' back into the concept of 'casual gaming'. Through social games
like Farmville and Mafia Wars, millions upon millions of non-gamers
have become gamers. In the process, social games are potentially
reshaping the gaming industry more broadly.
Vertical search is already a big focus in the search
market, and Google has its sights set on the skies. And we're not talking about the infamous Google party plane.
Yesterday, Google announced that it is buying flight information
software company ITA Software for $700m in cash. ITA Software's technology is widely used by airlines and online travel
destinations, and "effortlessly searches – at a billion combinations
per query – fares, schedules, and availability." That's why Google was
willing to pay big bucks for ITA's technology, which it hopes will
enable it to help passengers, airlines and online travel agencies find
flights and fares more efficiently.
It's official: after more than a year of rumors, AOL has finally managed to find a buyer for Bebo, the social networking website it purchased in 2008 for a whopping $850m.
The buyer: financial firm Criterion Capital Partners. The price: word on the street is that it didn't exceed
$10m, and may have been as low as $2.5m.
Yesterday it was announced that affiliate network Digital Window has purchased buy.at from AOL, in a deal that may signal the start of a wave of consolidation in the affiliate space.
I caught up with Digital Window CEO Kevin Brown to discuss the deal in more detail.
Google's bread and butter is search advertising but it isn't neglecting display advertising. It made that clear when it purchased DoubleClick for $3.1bn in 2008.
And it continues to make bets in the display advertising space. Yesterday, Google announced that it was acquiring dynamic ad serving and optimization startup Teracent.
Adobe's recent $1.8bn purchase of analytics provider Omniture had many people scratching their heads. While Adobe's CEO called the acquisition a "no-brainer" and it just might turn out to be a very wise strategic move, it's certainly possible that some Omniture customers will ask questions about the future of the company now that it's an Adobe company.
So I was interested to come across a Coremetrics ad addressing the Omniture acquisition. It leads to a landing page designed specifically for current Omniture customers and wastes no time in making a sales pitch.
The good life isn't so good for luxury brands these days. Thanks to the Great Recession, many consumers aren't as eager to spend big bucks on high-end fashion and accessories. Spending less is in vogue and that has been good news for companies that are ready with bargains.
And that explains why GSI Commerce, an e-commerce and multichannel solutions provider, is paying up to $350m for Retail Convergence, the company that operates private sale website RueLaLa.com and off-price e-commerce website SmartBargains.com.
Times are tough for many magazines these days. BusinessWeek knows that
first-hand. The weekly business magazine will reportedly lose some $40m
But after a long bidding process, it has found a knight in shining armor:
Bloomberg LP. The privately-held financial software, data and news
company is acquiring BusinessWeek for an undisclosed sum rumored to be
in the range of $2-$5m (yes you read that right, million). It will
also take on BusinessWeek's liabilities, which could far exceed that
Although reports of the acquisition had been circling since last week, Nokia made it official today: it has acquired London and Helsinki-based mobile travel startup Dopplr for an undisclosed amount. According to rumors, the acquisition price is somewhere between €10 million and €15 million.
Dopplr, which currently has seven employees, will join Nokia's services division. According to Nokia's press release, "The acquisition does not change the current Dopplr service which is available at
Dopplr.com and on platforms where Dopplr is integrated".