What's Best for Google's Users

By Reuters  |  Print this article Print

Google has announced 20 acquisitions so far in 2010, compared with seven in 2009. Here's a look at Google's M&A strategy and what the company may plan to do with its new technology and talent.

Lawee said discussions about "regulatory impact" sometimes arise in meetings but the company's approach was dictated by what's best for Google's users. Google has not backed away from deals on account of regulatory concerns, he said.

Google has announced the purchase of 19 companies in 2010, compared with 7 deals in 2009, representing roughly 28 percent of all the deals that Google has made in its decade-plus history, according to Reuters data.

Including the purchase of Israeli interactive video firm Quiksee announced days ago, that takes deals far this year to an even 20.

Five of Google's deals this year have been related to social media, including Slide, for which Google paid $182 million, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Lawee would not say how Google intends to use the various pieces of social networking technology it has acquired in recent months.

Last week, CEO Schmidt said that Google intends to infuse "layers" of social networking to its sites starting this fall, rather than unveil a flashy product.

For all of Google's dealmaking, Google primarily buys small companies, a strategy that Lawee said was unlikely to change. He pointed to the success of previous acquisitions like Keyhole and Where2, key elements of today's Google Maps product.

"Those were small teams, they came in, they executed, that's a winning formula for us," he said.

(Editing by Edwin Chan and Valerie Lee)