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The "culture" is just a show.
Two ideas here are important -- vertical integration and consolidation. Separately, they point to seriously diminishing competition, but together they equal a full-blown monopoly, something that's not healthy for any industry. I sincerely doubt that Goog's almost narcissistic culture would change simply due to the purchase of a bunch of patents, but all companies evolve eventually, and that will happen to Google, too. It will grow some moss and maybe even stop being the darling of the tech stock community. In fact, the purchase of all these patents points to an organization that is way less concerned with happy, innovative employees, and way more concerned with covering its own backside. They're armoring themselves with legal arguments against the numerous accusations they face now, and more importantly, those threats they know they'll face soon if they don't own the outside ideas they rely on so heavily. Some have even suggested the "innovation" aspect of the Goog employee's work week is just a smoke screen to give the impression Google actually innovates internally, rather than simply gleaning ideas from outside as they court smaller companies for possible purchase (e.g. Google/Groupon failed courtship, and Google's subsequent announcement of its own coupon service). MS got slapped for this behavior, and so should the Goog.