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With BumpTop buy, Google on record acquisitions pace

9th purchase of 2010 brings Google 3D desktop technology

By , Network World
May 02, 2010 08:28 PM ET

Network World - Google this weekend continued its torrid pace of acquisitions in 2010 with the buyout of Bump Technologies, a three-year-old maker of technology for giving desktops a 3D interface.

That’s the most buyouts in a year by Google since 2007, when it acquired a company record 16 businesses.

Bump announced the deal on Friday: "Today, we have a big announcement to make: we're excited to announce that we've been acquired by Google! This means that BumpTop (for both Windows and Mac) will no longer be available for sale. Additionally, no updates to the products are planned."

Earlier in the week, Google bought LabPixies, a maker of widgets used in the iGoogle personalized homepage. LabPixies also makes game apps, such as Flood it! Pro, and some say Google might have forked over as much as $25 million for the company.

Here’s a rundown of the rest of the firms Google has snapped up this year:

Also see: 2010's hottest tech M&A deals

Google's other buyouts this year:

• Aardvark, whose social search technology is based on getting your questions answered by those most expert in your online social circle. Google reportedly shelled out $50 million for the company.

• reMail, a maker of an iPhone app for searching Gmail and IMAP email accounts. The company's founder used to be on Google's Gmail team and now is right back there.

• Picnik, a vendor of Web-based photo editing technology. The technology works with other online photo-handling tools, such as Google's Picasa.

• DocVerse, which supports collaboration using Microsoft Office files. This $25 million purchase bolsters the Google Docs portfolio, as Google ramps up its competition vs. Microsoft in the online document management market.

• Episodic, a provider of live video streaming technology that should complement YouTube's video offerings.

• Plink, a two-person U.K. startup that scored a hit with a mobile phone application that identifies artworks and enables users to buy a print.

• Agnilux, a stealthy hardware startup formed by ex-Apple/PA Semi employees.

Meanwhile, Google is still tidying up some of its planned 2009 buyouts, namely its bid for mobile advertising provider AdMob. The FTC reportedly has some antitrust concerns about that one.

Google has made public more than 60 acquisitions overall.

Given the company's continued strong financial performance – it just posted Q1 revenue up 23% over the comparable period last year – there's no doubt the company will keep the buyouts coming. Company executives have said Google will look to make at least a buyout per month. Considering the company had $26.5 billion in cash, cash equivalents and short-term marketable securities as of the end of March, not too many companies should be out of Google's reach.

Follow Bob Brown on Twitter at www.twitter.com/alphadoggs

Read more about data center in Network World's Data Center section.

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