Who Will Google Acquire?

Rich Tehrani : Communications and Technology Blog - Tehrani.com
Rich Tehrani
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Who Will Google Acquire?

Google will be selling 14.2 million class A shares of common stock in an effort to raise money for acquisitions. I wonder, who would Google want to buy? Here is a list of possible items on the search engine king’s menu.

Skype: The idea that Google would do very well purchasing Skype has been floating around the Internet for a while. Where are the synergies? At the end of every search, Google could have an ad that says, “Call 200 million people for free by clicking here.” It seems that Google has to get into VoIP to stay competitive with Yahoo! And MSN. They don’t need Skype but it would make life easier to purchase the company that makes the software program that hundreds of millions of people have downloaded.

Red Hat: If your number one competitor is Microsoft you need to buy Red Hat so that you can own the leading Linux platform in the world. It is that simple. This is where Google needs to be.

Oracle: Google would likely have to pay 75 billion dollars or more for Oracle. Although I think this would be a great company to buy, Google probably can’t afford them and this may be too large of a company to easily absorb. It is also a bigger company than Google which presents more challenges. Also Larry Ellison may never allow it. If Ellison was to stay on after the acquisition, he would clash with Google management for sure. The reason it makes sense is that again, we are talking about a company that hates Microsoft and fights with them tooth and nail in the database software business and a myriad of other areas.

Adobe: The company that invented PDF and with the Macromedia acquisition the company that also invented Flash. There are a slew of web and print design tools in this company’s archives in addition to many development tools. Microsoft is trying to nullify the PDF format with competing formats of their own and it is only a matter of time before the Redmond Giant will take on Flash. Now is a great time for Adobe to sell to Google so that they can be insulated from Microsoft competition. It may be fair to say that Google has as much reach into our lives as Microsoft does. Perhaps more. If Google backs a standard, it will be tough for Microsoft to ever unseat it.

WebEx: The company’s market cap is 1.2 billion dollars. Google could pick this company up easily and web conferencing make s great tie in to the other Google products and services. It also gives the company the ability to go up against Microsoft LiveMeeting.

Buying Asian: The wild card here is that Google loves its business model and will strengthen it by purchasing other search engine companies that are strong in other parts of the world like Asia or Eastern Europe. Google must have its eye on a number of these areas and there are probably a dozen promising companies that are complimentary to Google’s model worth purchasing.

As a Service: Google is in the position to sell lots of different hosted services from hosted e-mail to just about anything and everything else In the next year or so I expect them to start launching more mainstream applications as services. This should be an easy money-maker for the company. Who would they acquire to help them do this? I am not sure but there are a number of smaller players that could help.

Out of all the companies that have been in Microsoft’s crosshairs, there are two that seem unscathed. One is AOL… MSN as a paid ISP never really hurt AOL that much. the other is Google. There seems to be no way for The Redmond software company to compete with Google in its core model. If Google can keep on innovating and expanding it will likely be tougher still. The only thing Google has to look out for is losing focus on its core search market. It has to make sure that it is 100% focused on this market as we all saw what happened to Yahoo! And AltaVista when they lost focus on search. Google’s competition is after all, always a click away.

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