Adam Metz examines the 2011 Google acquisitions that matter to the enterprise now as well as those that will matter later.
One year, 24 acquisitions. What's up with that? Well, Google's had their busiest acquisition year, ever. The big ones stand out clearly, like the $12B Motorola acquisition, and the finally-finalized $400M AdMeld acquisition, which became legit last June.
Today, we take a look at the ones that will actually matter to enterprise business, at least anytime soon. Google tends to acquire U.S.-based companies and overwhelmingly San Francisco Bay Area companies, but this year, there were a few unlikely candidates as well, including Germany's über-Groupon Daily Deal and Canada's mobile entertainment brand PushLife.
Let's break them into three categories: The Big Ones, Surprise, and Class of 2013 (i.e. the ones that won't be making a big impact anytime soon).
The Big Ones1. Motorola Mobility: This one's pretty obvious. As Google's largest-ever acquisition, it serves to fight directly against what Google CEO Larry Page calls "companies including Microsoft and Apple...banding together in anti-competitive patent attacks on Android". 2. AdMeld: This acquisition firmly cements Google's place in the display advertising market, and shows much of the logic behind the 2007 DoubleClick acquisitions. AdMeld was the missing publisher-side piece (can you say "yield optimization?"). Since Google had already acquired the demand-side piece (Invite Media), the advertiser-side piece (DoubleClick), in The Invite Media acquisition was somewhat overshadowed by the much-larger DoubleClick acquisition.
But it raised red flags in the advertising space about the conflict of interest between Google and advertising agencies, as the linked GigaOm article states. The issue with Invite was that it creates a strange situation for advertisers who are not (and don't plan on becoming) DoubleClick for Advertisers customers. Many advertisers want to continue benefitting from Invite Media's platform, without locking in to DoubleClick. "Invite Media's platform will of course continue to be available to any agency or advertiser, whether they use DFA or not," said, Google VP of Product Management Neal Mohan, in the GigaOm article, last summer. Over a year later, Invite seems to be running independently.