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Motorola Mobility is by far Google's biggest acquisition ever

Google quadruples its own record with $12.5 billion purchase

By , Network World
August 15, 2011 02:21 PM ET

Network World - Google's $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility is far and away Google's biggest-ever purchase -- in fact, it's greater than Google's next 10 biggest acquisitions combined and only its third above a billion dollars.

Google's traditional acquisition strategy identifies small groups of talented people, such as the creators of Android, who can grow into much more with the resources of Google behind them. But on occasion Google breaks the billion-dollar barrier to snap up companies that were already successful, and has made numerous acquisitions in the range of $100 million to $750 million. Google expects the Motorola purchase to complete by the end of this year or early in 2012. For now, let's take a look at the top 10 Google acquisitions by value announced prior to the Motorola Mobility buy.

TOP MERGERS: Tech M&A deals of 2011

$3.1 billion for DoubleClick, closed March 2008

As if Google needed more help in online advertising, the DoubleClick buy helped Google serve display ads to users of its search engine and various other services. The DoubleClick purchase was almost topped by Google last year when it unsuccessfully tried to buy Groupon for $6 billion.

$1.65 billion for YouTube, closed November 2006

Google launched its own video search engine in 2005 and supercharged its video strategy with the acquisition of YouTube the next year. Under Google's leadership, YouTube has remained a technology and even cultural giant. Without YouTube, we would never have experienced the greatest musical video of all time, Rebecca Black's "Friday."

$750 million for AdMob, closed May 2010

Advertising is where Google makes nearly all of its money, and Internet-based ads are becoming an increasingly big business on mobile devices. So the acquisition of mobile advertising firm AdMob made perfect sense for the Googlers, and was a lot less expensive than Google's pending buy of Motorola Mobility, another purchase aimed at expanding Google's mobile ambitions.

$700 million for ITA Software, closed April 2011

Google's acquisition of this travel software maker caught the attention of antitrust regulators, but Google closed the deal on April 12 of this year. "We're confident that by combining ITA's expertise with Google's technology we'll be able to develop exciting new flight search tools for all our users," Google said.

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