In the 90s, some startups dreamed of being acquired by Microsoft. In the 00s, do they dream of being acquired by Google? I mean, what hasn’t Google bought lately?
In the recent past, Google has purchased web software companies to further their MS-Office-like suite of tools, a huge online advertising network, Doubleclick, (with attached SEO business, Performics), and now a video-conferencing technology company, Marratech. I’m sure I’m missing several other purchases of note, but it doesn’t matter. Google is everywhere, and they are going to define the rules of each arena the way they please. This acquisition trail goes beyond anything that IBM or Microsoft ever wandered down because Google is covering so many bases.
You could play semantics and say anything is fair game online, but don’t forget that Google is also advertising in print and going after TV as well. Where are they not present? And what does this all mean? My prediction? We’ll see a spate of “anti-competetive practices” lawsuits appearing in 2008-2010 – even when Google’s actions might be for the proverbial greater good.
Their goal to index all of the world’s information does not seem to jibe with some most of these purchases. So what are they really up to? Don’t get me wrong, I actually love and use many of their web tools. Though I’ll never install their toolbar.