When it comes to acquisitions, Google has made headlines lately. Prior to their announced acquisition of Nest, they purchased robotics from Boston Dynamics — and let’s not forget about Waze. If it seems like an exorbitant amount of spending, it is. When considering their rivals, Google spent more than their five leading competitors combined.
Bloomberg, like many of us, were curious to see just who was purchasing what lately. As it turns out, in this age of acquihires and patent grab, Google leads the way. Over the past two years, the Mountain View search giant has spent $13 billion to acquire a slew of companies. Microsoft was second with $9 billion, though bulk of that was their $7.4 billion purchase of Nokia’s hardware division. There was also a $1.2 billion purchase for Yammer made by Microsoft, which is a B2B social media service.
Facebook checks in with their $700 million Instagram acquisition, and could have taken a more prominent role on the list had their rumored offer of $3 billion for Snapchat gone through. Amazon’s only impressive purchase was $775 million for robotics firm Kiva, which was for warehouse machinery, not a consumer product of any sort.
When it comes to a true rival in the purchase of startups, Yahoo might be Google’s huckleberry. Though their largest deal was $1.1 billion for Tumblr, the other search company has made over 20 acquisitions in the two year timeframe we’re speaking of. Looming threat Apple, with nearly triple the cash on hand of Google — $147 billion compared to about $56 billion — spent less than $1 billion in purchasing startups, with about one-third of that going to fingerprint tech company AuthenTec.