Last week, Google acquired Zagat as part of the company’s strategy to improve its location services and reviews, which have always been the tough nut to crack for the search engine giant.
The terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but it’s safe to say that Zagat is one of the largest acquisition made by Google. And given that Google has been on a massive acquisition spree in the last 10 years or so, it’s also safe to say that Zagat won’t be the last.
Here are some of Google’s largest acquisitions through the years:
1. Applied Semantics
Applied Semantics, a foundation on which AdSense and KeywordSense will later be built, was acquired by Google in 2003. The deal is estimated to be worth approximately $102m.
2. dMarc Broadcasting
In January 2006, Google bought dMarc Broadcasting, which specializes in automated advertising systems, for total up-front consideration of $102 million in cash plus the possibility of further payouts totaling up to $1.13 billion, if certain revenue targets were met.
3. On2 Technologies
After negotiations between the two companies, Google finished its acquisition of video-compression technology vendor On2 Technologies in February 2010. The deal was initially valued at $124.6 million, but the Internet colossus then put an extra 15 cents per On2 share on the table, increasing its offer to a value of about $133.9 million.
On2 Technologies provides video compression technologies for mobile video, embedded devices, Adobe Flash Player and VoIP. Google claimed On2 would help further innovation in online video quality.
Google agreed to buy Slide for $182 million in August 2010. Founded by PayPal co-founder Max Levchin, Slide.com was known as the largest third-party developer of Facebook applications until Google purchased it as an investment to make Google services socially aware.
AdMeld, an advertising optimization platform for publishers, was bagged by Google for $400 million last June. The deal was reported to be part of Google’s effort to bolster its business in the market for graphical and display ads, where it competes with rivals like Yahoo! Inc. and Facebook.
Prior to the acquisition which was announced by Google in July 2007, Postini was recognized as a leader in business security and antispam software. It provides the cloud computing services and spam filters that Google soon integrated into Gmail. The deal was valued at $625 million.
7. ITA Software
In July 2010, Google purchased ITA Software, a Massachusetts flight information software company for a whooping $700 million. Google uses ITA’s software to optimize its travel and flight search.
Google announced that it had acquired AdMob, the mobile ad platform which was especially popular on the iPhone, for $750 million in November 2009. Google then published a blog post solely to explain the benefits of the AdMob acquisition, detailing the rapidly growing mobile advertising space.
As a giant company, Google has surely made many acquisitions, but perhaps this is the first one that historians wrote in the book of history: Google snapped up YouTube for a shocking $1.65 billion in October 2006. Although the company wasn’t absorbed by Google Video, YouTube continues to function as a Google subsidiary.
Google purchased DoubleClick, which provides ad service and support to AdSense, for $3.1 billion in April 2007.
The last one is Google’s most recent and expensive acquisition to date. On August 15, 2011 the Internet search leader purchased Motorola Mobility, one of 39 manufacturers of Android handsets. By purchasing the mobile hardware manufacturer, Google hopes to raise the Android ecosystem.