News Column

Google buys the future

July 3, 2014

Nicola Mawson

Google increases its push towards the cloud and devices that will plug into a connected world. Google is getting its tentacles into everything, as it buys up seemingly unrelated companies at an ever-increasing rate to own the future, and the customer of the future. This week, it added Songza – its bid to play a bigger role in the fast-growing online music business – to its long list of acquisitions. Songza joins the likes of a mobile alarm clock developer, a company that makes robots, a group that turns out smoke alarms, and Internet and cloud computing companies on its list of 160 takeovers in the past 13 years. Its spending spree, which it can well afford, is accelerating as it deepens its ability into tools that will enable a connected world, and applications that will plug into that future. In total, since 2001, Google has bought 160 companies, with 57 of these buys coming in the last three-and-a-half years, at a rate of one purchase a week, according to Wikipedia. This year alone, the company has bought 20 entities, more than double what it acquired during the first half of the past two years. said (../index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=135652:Get-moving-with-Google&catid=67) the group will expand its focus beyond its traditional Internet business, and its latest purchases show it is trending towards a connected world, and everything that plugs into that, says Segev. Segev says Google is hedging its bets and "getting into absolutely everything" .He notes the best way to predict the future is to invent it, and if Google buys the future now, it will control it. "Google has got the money; it can afford to pull ahead in the race. Any small player that comes in as a threat can be bought off." buying ( LiveRail to make video ads a bigger part of its business, while Apple recently spent (../index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=134894:Apple-gets-Beats-for-3bn&catid=69) $3 billion to catch up in fast-growing music streaming, Reuters reported. However, Google's spending spree surpasses its rivals, as it has bought more – in less time – than the likes of Microsoft, which has acquired 163 companies since 1987, or Apple, with 59 buys in the past 26 years, or Facebook's 48 purchases since 2005. Segev says Google wants to "own the customer" so that people will use it for any and all services. He adds there is no question it will branch into other areas such as banking, transactions, and hardware. "It's a Google planet." Google's purchases this year





4 January


Timely alarm clock

Not disclosed

13 January

Nest Labs

Home automation company


15 January


Internet security

Not disclosed

26 January


Artificial intelligence


16 February


Internet security

Not disclosed

21 February

Anti-ad fraud

Not disclosed

12 March

Green Throttle


Not disclosed

14 April

Titan Areospace


Not disclosed

02 May



Not disclosed

06 May


Online advertising

Not disclosed

07 May


Web site creator

Not disclosed

07 May


Cloud computing

Not disclosed

07 May


Online utility use monitor

Not disclosed

16 May

Quest Visual

Augmented reality

Not disclosed

19 May


Device manager

Not disclosed

10 June

Skybox Imaging



19 June


Online advertising

Not disclosed

19 June

Alpental Technologies

Wireless technology

Not disclosed

20 June


Home monitoring


25 June


Mobile device cloud testing

Not disclosed

1 July


Music streaming

Not disclosed

Main source: Wikipedia (Additional reporting by Lwavela Jongilanga.)

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Source: ITWeb

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